Three daily habits for a better you:
1) Movement – every part of your body needs to move every day.
2) Breathing/Mindfulness- re-center, refocus, re-imagine
3) Sleep and Sleep Prep – your body repairs and the cycle continues
This one is a real doozy…..pun intended. Prioritizing sleep and recovery is probably one of the most undervalued things you can do for yourself. There are mountains of research showing the benefits of great sleep. Plus we can all attest to the massive difference felt after a great night’s sleep vs. the sleep you get after a long night in Vegas. Books such as “Sleep Smarter” by Shaun Stevenson are great resources to understand the importance of sleep as well as pick up some incredible tips for improving your sleep quality. There are podcasts, articles, and so much more available to your disposal if you’re looking to understand this topic better. For everyone else just take some of the most important cliff notes right here.
Start with your environment. This means making your bedroom dark, cool, comfy, and a perfect place to snooze. Get into a great bedtime routine. This could involve journaling, meditation/breathing, easy movement/stretching, a hot bath full of Epsom salts/essential oils, getting jiggy with your significant other, reading, and/or anything else that helps you wind down and get ready for bed. See why the first two habits are so important?! Because they can be used anytime of the day and also improve your sleep!
Another great time is to improve sleep quality is turning off all screens and bright lights 1-2 hours before bed. Blue light coming from our screens does a number of questionable things. One of which is impairing your body’s circadian rhythm and make it challenging to know when its time for bed. So taking away these kinds of light 1-2 hours before bed as well as having a 1-2 hour bedtime window can make a huge improvement on your sleep quality.
Equally important for some individuals is waking up and immediately getting into the sunlight. Proper light exposure can be a real game changer for some struggling with sleep. For me this is ideally seeing the sunrise every morning, turning off screens by 8-9pm that night, and snoozing away by 10-11pm.
If all these changes to your environment and bedtime routine make a minimal effect to your sleep, then maybe some nutritional changes are necessary. Make sure you have a diet appropriate for your body, ensure you have no major nutrient deficiencies, and perhaps try some bedtime supplements. There are herbal teas and over the counter supplements such as “Doc Parsley’s Sleep Remedy” that can all help you out.
Unfortunately, there is no perfect routine for everybody, but there is a perfect routine out there for each of us as individuals. And this routine will probably have to be monitored and changed slightly over time. I suggest picking one or two new habits at most and working on integrating them into your lives smoothly before trying something else new. And as always I’m here to help you out as best I can along your journey.
Please have a look at parts 1 and 2 in this series: