How’d you sleep last night? Did you wake up rejuvenated, ready to face the day with gusto and a smile? No? Let’s get us all to a place of “hell yes I did!”
It’s commonly known that we spend roughly 1/3 of our lives sleeping, resting, trying to sleep, or needing to sleep. The 8 hours of slumber per night is a reliable and age-old recommendation for our natural rhythms and hormonal cycles to maintain healthy levels. Do you know there are direct links with our gut health, teeth health and sleep habits? Below are 11 tips to help you get more restful sleep, for your happiness, your mental, physical, spiritual and gut health.
- Do you make your sleeping environment cold? Like around 65? (My fiance thinks this is absurdly cold, but also she sleeps gleefully through the night when we drop the thermostat like it’s hot.) There’s a tremendous amount of science you can research and fill your noggin with around this, but let’s keep it simple: The cooler you’re sleeping quarters are, the cozier you’ll be, the better you’ll sleep. No one enjoys waking up in a pool of sweat.
- Try journaling to release the day’s thoughts, ideas, stresses, plans and to-dos from your beautiful brain. Let the paper hold all of this for you, so your mind can rest easier. For extra benefit, also try the method known as morning pages.
- Try rubbing lavender or cedar oil on your feet before bed. Remember to always mix essential oils with a carrier oil such as coconut, olive or jojoba.
- How about soaking in a warm bath and create a relaxing and ritualistic bedtime routine? If we go straight into bed without creating a pause and separation from the stressors and pulls of the day, our bodies don’t know “we can relax now, we are safe, relaxed, clean and ready for rest.” It’s similar to washing our hands before we eat. Preparation for these special daily events makes them all the better. Consider working these steps into your bedtime routine: brush your teeth, wash your face and enjoy a gentle face massage, gently apply moisturizer and take a relaxing bath if you have the time and luxury of a bathtub.
- Are your sheets, bed, pillows and mattress mindblowingly comfortable? If they are not, that’s something you can quickly address with getting new sheets (and wash them at least weekly). New pillows and a mattress are important too, but might take a bit longer to do your research and go with what is best for your space, budget and bodily needs. In the meantime, you can cleanse your bedding in the sunlight, covering it with salt for 8-10 hours then vacuuming it off, or by getting a soft mattress cover and washing it regularly.
- Keep your bedroom clean and clear of clutter. Feng shui, Marie Kondo and a lot of other very old and wise traditions convey the benefits of keeping your space tidy. A few things to do regularly: sweep/vacuum, dust, open the windows to let the sunshine in, keep clothes and clutter put away, have a place for everything, make your bed each morning, and you’ll rest easy knowing and feeling the benefits of all this being routinely done.
- Do you sleep in clothes or naturally? Again, there’s a lot of science around this, but let’s keep it simple: it’s far more comfortable and good for your skin to sleep in the nude.
- Are you well hydrated and eating organic Whole Foods? There’s enough to discuss here to write several books, but in the spirit of simplicity: eat organically, locally grown foods and drink lots of charcoal filtered water.
- Do you have a dog, that sleeps with you? Highly recommend you get one if not. Dogs provide a sense of comfort, peace, safety, security and pure love. Allowing and inviting my dogs to sleep on the bed with me has been one of the most rewarding decisions of my adult life.
- Keep electronics out of your sleeping space. I’m fully aware of how difficult this is in practice, but give it a try. Get an old school alarm clock so you don’t sleep through the sunrise and morning routines, and make sure everything else is away, out of your bedroom. No TV, phone, wearables, tablets, computers of any kind.
- Do you have plants, salt lamps, an oil diffuser?
These are things that I’ve worked through to make sleep for myself a pleasant and fruitful experience. Also, drinking coffee in the morning’s regulated my entire circadian clock. I’d be happy to provide coaching around this and other life subjects for you.