Is lack of sleep getting you down? A sound nights sleep is essential for a well functioning, healthy body & a sharp, clear mind. A poor nights sleep is frustrating, exhausting & a common issue for many people.
But, I am here to help, I have collated some of my favourite sleep tips (did I mention I had insomnia for about the first 20 years of my life? Notice i said HAD…)
Our sleep cycle, is exactly that, a cycle and like with anything cyclic it’s not all dependant just on what you do when you get into bed. Everything you do throughout your day & week can greatly impact the quality of each night’s sleep.
Our sleep cycle also has a huge impact on our hormones, mood, menstrual cycle & so much more.
These simple tips below can help you create a sleep pattern that makes it easy to fall asleep, stay asleep & wake feeling more refreshed.
It won’t happen overnight, but within a few days you’ll start to notice a difference.
1. The state of the room
Look around your bedroom, does it feel like a beautiful scared space?
Clear & clutter free?
Inviting, comfortable & cosy?
Clean it up- The state of our bedroom has a huge impact on how we feel going into bed. The bedroom needs to be tidy & clean as this promotes calm to the brain. Fresh clean sheets always help too.
Get it flowing- To sleep well the room needs to have good oxygen flow, ideally, sleep with the window open, even just a crack. If this isn’t possible, open the windows during the day to allow a fresh flow of air through the room or even for an hour prior to bedtime, yes even in Winter!
Adding some live plants to the room is another great way to increase the oxygen flow in the room. Peace lollies are great indoor plants & look beautiful in a bedroom surrounding the bed.
Sage the space- Once a week cleanse the energy of the room with some sage or a clearing spray, to clear out anything stagnant or old. If you’ve had a bad dream or an argument (always better to move out of the bedroom if you are anyway) sage the room to get rid of any stagnant negative energy.
2. Dinner time
Consider what time you eat, how close to bedtime this is?
You need about 2 hours to digest food properly before bedtime (depending what you eat). If you must eat late before bed, a light easy-to-digest meal will make a difference (eg. eggs or soup).
If you are trying to digest food whilst you’re sleeping, your sleep will be interrupted and/or you won’t digest your food (think weight gain, bloating, low energy)
3. Create a Morning & Evening Ritual
Consistency is key, the brain loves consistency. After a week of a regular ‘bedtime’ routine, the brain & body will start to become aware of what is happening and will begin to anticipate sleep.
Get some morning sun. When you wake, go outside get some sunshine on your skin, look up at the sky, close your eyes and face the sun, let it penetrate your eyelids. This signifies to the brain that it’s morning/daytime and your hormones are adjusted accordingly ready for the day. This helps with morning energy levels too.
Create a simple 15min bedtime routine that you do every night before bed. This can be individual and needs to suit you & your style & situation.
It could include;
Light some candles
Take a shower, or bath
Apply an oil (see point 10)
Drink a small cup of a warm calming tea
Put ‘pjs’ on
4. Get naked
Sleeping naked, helps your body regulate it’s own temperature & body temp is super important for a good sleep. If you are too hot, the sleep will be restless and you may have nightmares.
Over a few days, the body will regulate the temp it needs to be.
If you sleeping next to someone, this can often lead to a natural spike in sex drives too (added bonus!!) and an orgasm is always a great sleep inducer.
However please note… sex without an orgasm can actually leave you feeling frustrated and make it even harder to sleep…. if you don’t regularly orgasm with sex that’s a whole ‘nother issue and we need to address this too (stay tuned for next article)
5. Screen time
Phones, ipads and Televisions all emit blue light.
Blue light signals to the brain that it is time to ‘wake’. So staring at a screen before bedtime reduces your levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and interrupts your sleep cycle.
Best case scenario turn screens off an hour before bed and that means leaving them outside the bedroom too. If they are beeping all night this also impacts sleep. Phones emit constant Electromagnetic frequencies & we are susceptible to these whilst we sleep. You are asleep anyway (or trying to be) so have a break from them! Think sacred space, see point 1.
2nd best scenario- if you can’t avoid the phone for whatever reason, switch your screen to a yellow light from around 4pm in the afternoon… (on a iphone- got to Settings > Display & Brightness > Nightshift > Schedule > Set to and From times accordingly).
You can also purchase some yellow light glasses and wear these around the house before bed or whilst you are on the computer if you have to study or work.
Probably an obvious one, but if you have issues with sleep, get rid of it, at least until you are rocking the sleep cycle.
Yes you’ll be more tired initially, but if you can, suck it up for a week and reap the benefits!
This includes all stimulants- Vs, red bulls and so on.
7. Love the dark
The darker the bedroom the better.
Using a sleep mask can work wonders. It can take a few nights to get used to it, but again it works on a hormonal level & sleeping in a dark room, helps the brain recognise sleep time & do it’s thing.
You can also start to prepare for bed, a few hours before, by switching to lamps & candles instead of overhead lights.
8. Make it regular
Remember it’s a cycle, cycles signify rhythm, so help it out and make it regular.
It’s been said that bed before 10pm & waking before 7am is a routine attributed to optimal health.
At different stages throughout the night, different organs become more active according to Chinese Medicine. An hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 after midnight…. Our Liver meridian is active between 1-3am and since we love to work our livers hard these days, getting the necessary shut eye between 1-3am helps your body detoxify.
9. Sleep Hygiene
And I don’t mean did you shower (see point 3 for that)
Sleep hygiene relates to maintaining a regular pattern relative to the previous day.
The idea here is that you aim to go to bed within 30mins either side of the previous nights bedtime.
Consistency is key with sleep cycles, so creating a regular bedtime is essential, however life happens & we are here to enjoy it! So if you say go to bed usually at 10pm, but it’s Friday night and you end up in bed at midnight…. the next night, Saturday, you want to aim for bed between 11:30-12:30.
If every night is totally different this will be an issue for creating a sleep cycle.
So what we are aiming for here is a regular bedtime routine…. BUT when things change & we have a change in our plan, we want to consider this.
10. Quick Tips to help with sleep
Address your stress! At this moment in time, we are highly stressed beings. Even when we are unaware of it. If your body is living in fight/flight mode most of the time. Your sleep will be impacted. Find ways to lower your stress levels. Meditation, seeking treatment (natural therapies can work wonders with stress) connecting with nature, gentle exercise (intense exercise does the opposite) and so on.
Essential oils– work wonders for sleep. Try Lavender, Cedarwood, Geranium, or chamomile. You can use a diffuser in the bedroom, apply them to your skin before bed as part of an evening routine, or even a few drops on our pillow case (watch the eyes)
HT7 acupoint, is the key point for insomnia & sleep. You can gently hold this whilst you lie in bed. Located on the outer area f your wrist, underneath your pinky. On the crease line the wrist & the palm.
Breathing- Focused breathing exercises help calm your body and prepare it for sleep. Laying
in bed, take a deep breath in for 5 counts and then breathe out for 5 counts, repeat 10 times. This helps slow the body & synchronise the nervous system.
So there are a bunch of simple tips to try, give them a go & see what works for you. If you are still having issues, a Kinesiologist can help you, make an appointment today!
I’ve included a chart below that you can print out & put on the fridge as a daily reminder & apply your own ideas to make this work for you.
Suggestions to help
How I will make this work for me
|A scared Space||Get some sage, incense or a spray|
|Tidy, declutter the room|
|Get some plants|
|Dinner Time||Set a specific time|
|Plan meal in advance|
|Get some sunshine
Do some stretches
|Create a bedtime ritual
Shower, bath, oil, candles etc
|Get Naked||Enough said…|
|Screen Time||Set a time to switch off|
|Create a spot to leave phones at night|
|Get a different alarm|
|Caffeine||Cut it out|
|Or Set a limit.. none after 10am|
|Love the dark||Set a time to switch to lamps|
|Make the bedroom dark/ Get a eye mask|
|Make it Regular||Set a REALISTIC Bed / wake time. Stick to it for a week|
|You can adjust this again the following week|
|Sleep Hygiene||Plan your weeks bedtimes within 30mins of each previous day|
Use some oils
Use HT7 Acupoint
Do you have some tips yourself? Share below and help others who might be suffering from sleep issues….