- 5 ways to get a great night's sleep
The key to getting a great nights sleep lies in a few key things you do during the day. The idea is to prep your body for sleep, send unconscious signals to your body that it is time to sleep, and to respect your sleep as a sacred and necessary time. Its not only what we must do, its also what we must NOT do. There are many behaviors that we must change or give up to get our best sleep.
Sleep must be seen as a process that starts 2-3 hours before your sleep. You can not imagine that you can go from direct wakeful business to sleep without some time to shift gears.
Below are 5 major ways to work with your body and get a great night's sleep.
Make your sleeping space cooler, darker and quieter. Replace intensely bright lights with warmer, mellower lights. Consider a light shade or a bed lamp. Avoid listening to loud music or watching television in bed. If you are accustomed to watching TV from bed you are setting yourself up for bad sleep.
Take a warm shower. A nice relaxing warm shower before bed can really relax your body and relieve tension in your back and shoulders and prepare you for a good night's sleep. This may be a good time for scented oils, scented candles or incense. Our sense of smell is often overlooked and ignored, but it is powerful in affecting our states of relaxation or concentration. Be very careful when sleeping with candles or incense due to fire hazard, but experiment with lotions, oils, and other fragrant products. Look for sleepy scents like chamomile, but don't be afraid to find one that works for you. Only use this fragrance or incense in your bed room and only around bed time if possible. Over time you will build the habit and the body's response will be to relax when you smell the fragrance
Eat dinner around 3 hours (or more) before bedtime. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine is of course a stimulant that is known to prevent restful sleep. Eating before sleep means your body will be digesting food while you are trying to rest. This can make you toss and turn or have stomach pain or need to use the bathroom, all of which can disturb your sleep. So no caffeine after lunch, and try to eat dinner some time before bedtime. Also pay attention to what you eat. Its not only coffee and soda that can keep you up, try adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, especially raw fruits and vegetables around lunch time. This will improve your digestion in general and can give you more restful sleep. Perhaps you should avoid excessively spicy foods at dinner time.. some people may not like cheese or dairy in the evening.. Pay attention to your body and your diet to improve your sleep.
Use your bedroom for sleep, not work. Keep it clean and welcoming. Do what you can to turn your sleeping space into a sacred space. Don't use it for working or watching television. Go to another room or another place to work or watch TV. This will condition your body to know the difference. Ideally you shouldn't even rest in your bed if your not planning on sleeping. Make your bed a comfortable sleep cavern and soon you wont be able to stay awake there!
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day as much as possible. Your body operates on rhythms and patterns. As much as you can, you should try to work with your body's patterns and not fight against them. Choose the best time for you to wake up and plan yourself so you get 8 hours of sleep. Don't make the mistake of thinking you will fall asleep as soon as you close your eyes. Give yourself time to de-stress and relax, so get to bed earlier than 8 hours before you have to wake up.
Exercise regularly. Exercising regularly is life changing. You will have more energy during the day time, and have better sleep at night.
If you apply these habits to your life and your bedroom you will see your sleep improve and increase which will in turn give you more energy and enthusiasm throughout the day. Try it today!