Sleeping is a behavior. That is a system of activities and conditioning which can be created and altered through interaction within our surroundings. There is a very important connection between health, happiness and a good night’s sleep.
How much sleep ?
Over and over, we hear conflicting reports regarding the amount of sleep that each person requires. The fact is that the amount of sleep varies from person to person and under different conditions in one’s life. Important to note is that many people suffer from sleep debt and it shows.
Quick to Sleep
Undoubtedly, some people can crawl into bed and shut their eyes and they are off to dreamland. And those people, who sleep quickly, could be missing out on further elements of deeper more refreshing rejuvenating sleep. Therefore, recognize and use specific habits to prepare for your slumber to assist you in achieving optimum sleep.
Exercising regularly is important for you overall health – however refrain from exercise a few hours before bedtime. An enormous amount of information is always available about the importance of proper diet and exercise. What’s in and what is out. Including now – all the gadgets to track and analyze your stats. Yet not enough attention is given to the importance of sleep and how it impacts on our overall health with an important emphasis on supporting our healthy immune functions.
Too Much Thinking
For an overactive mind with thoughts spinning, worrying, and writing to-do lists, meditation, prayers, or a few stretches before bedtime, work well as a sleep aid. If thoughts come up – write them down and then set aside those pieces of paper, for tomorrow. This way you have gotten the thought compartmentalized and delegated for another time. It will free up your mind to relax and be open. What is most important is to create sleep rituals. These steps then become a natural pattern that will synchronize with your sleep.
Start the party….the Sleep Party
The harmony begins before bedtime. Do this by giving yourself the signals that it is time to slow down and rest. Establish your sleep cycle into a regular rhythm and you will feel better overall. If you are not relaxed it may be difficult falling asleep and staying asleep. So get into the habit of unwinding and calming down before you hit the bed. This will help balance your mind and body, even after you fall asleep.
5 Easy Rituals for a Good Night’s Sleep:
1. Stick to a bed time. Go to bed and wake up, at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help regulate your body’s inner clock. Hey and no cheating on your off days.
2. Turn off all electronics. Switch off your TV, computer, phones, a minimum of 30 minutes before bedtime. Shift into quiet activities that will wind the mind down. Put on some soothing music. Light some incense, a scented candle, take a hot shower, or a warm aromatherapy bath. Dim the lights in your home – especially your bedroom. These actions will facilitate enhanced sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.
3. Set the mood. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and well ventilated. A cool temperature will make sleeping comfortable. Remove the clock from view. And don’t indulge in television in the bedroom.
4. Eat light. Avoid heavy meals late in the evening. Otherwise your body is focused on digestion rather than resting. The best plan will be to eat lighter in the evening with your last meal several hours before bed. Eliminate nicotine, coffee, and alcohol directly before bedtime. Also limit the quantity of user-friendly liquids like water. Or you will be interrupted during the night for bathroom breaks.
5. Breathe and relax. Once in bed, breathe easily and deeply. Relax your muscles throughout your body. If you feel a body part is particularly tense, bring your awareness to that area and breathe gently into the tension in order to relax that area. Bring mindfulness with a positive visualization to the edges of your body not being so rigid and stiff.
Now think over the positive moments of your day. Include at least three gratitude thoughts for the day. Either quietly or out loud – give thanks and appreciation for the events, no matter small or large. The last ten minutes of your day are extremely important both visually and mentally. Just as important are the first ten minutes upon awakening.
All of these suggestions will encourage your relaxation and deepen the quality of your sleep. Find out what rituals are best suited to you and follow them. Experiment. And add to your best practices.
With a good night’s sleep, you will be more alert, fresh, and focused the next day and reap health and beauty benefits overall. Equally important for both men and women.
Good night and sleep well!