Sleep Hygiene Tips for a Restful Night's Sleep
Insomnia can take many forms; difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep, waking early, and generally disturbed sleep. Once you get into a pattern of insufficient sleep, it can be very difficult to break. However there are simple tips that you can apply to your life that can make a huge difference to your sleep. They are based on naturally bringing our body back into balance and in accordance with how we have evolved to behave at night time. Never before in human history have we been exposed to so much stimulation for our mind and brain. We have evolved over millions of years without artificial light. When it is dark, we are either meant to be asleep, or sitting around a fire. Instead, we stay up late, lit by blue light, and this throws our circadian rhythms off. We can help reset them by doing the following.
What You'll Need
- Orange glasses
- Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra Herbal Tea
- Epsom Salts
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Bergamot Essential Oil
- Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
- Eye Mask
- Black Out Blinds
- Ear Plugs
- Dried Lavender and Hops
- Lumie alarm clock
- Yoga Nidra for Sleep Recording
What You'll Do
- 1) Keep a regular pattern of going to sleep and waking up. Our bodies like routine. This must involve being asleep by 11pm, which is when the body is doing the most healing. Don't worry if you are not asleep at 11pm! The point is that you should be in bed with the light out.
- 2) Stop watching all TV, tablets, phones or any other electronic devices at least 2 hours before bed. The blue light stimulated your brain to stay awake as does the content. Turn your phone off to resist temptation
- 3) From 8pm, wear Orange glasses around the house. This blocks out all blue light and helps tell the body it is time to go to sleep.
- 4) No coffee/tea/alcohol/chocolate or other stimulants at night
- 5) No exercise except for gentle yoga in the evenings
- 6) Drink a small mug of Celestial Seasonings 'sleepytime tea extra ' at night. Make sure the tea is brewed for at least five minutes before you take the bag out
- 7) Have a warm Epsom salt bath (I would put 300-500g in at least) with essential oil of lavender. roman chamomile is another useful oil is bergamot. Soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes, practising deep abdominal breathing. And use candles to light the room, instead of normal lights
- 8) In your bedroom, when you sleep it must be pitch black. This means you need black out blinds, very thick curtains and there are NO light sources of any description in your bedroom. If you even have a small led display light then you must cover it up with a piece of tape. Even with your eyes closed, your brain can still detect small traces of light and these can keep you awake. In the summer when it gets light early, wear an eye mask
- 9) Make sure you are warm in bed but the room is cool. This can tell the body to sleep
- 10) Wear Ear plugs to help block out noise
- 11) A good sleep routine would be: 8pm, stop watching all screens. Read a relaxing/boring book, preferably one with log words or listen to relaxing music. 9pm, run a bath (see below for more details) and lie in it for at least 20 minutes lit by candles. 9.45pm, get into bed and read a book or listen to a little very relaxing music 10pm. Lights off, do a progressive muscle relaxation exercise and breathing for 5-10 minutes and then start listening to yoga nidra for sleep. Wake up when you need to for work, but keep the same wake-up time all week
- 12) If you wake in the night, don't get up. either listen to yoga nidra or follow the breath, counting down with each breath from 1,000
- 13) Buy lavender and hops and put them in a bag by your pillow (you can even put them in an old sock and tie the end with an elastic band). They are very good at helping sleep
- 14) Consider buying a lumie alarm clock as they can help you wake up slowly and naturally
- 15) Consider buying a Lightbox and using it during the day, preferably in the morning. If you cannot afford one, then make sure as soon as possible in the morning, you spend at least 15 minutes outside in natural light
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