Throughout January–the initiation month of New Year resolutions–the Be Well health coaches will be tackling their clients’ top resolutions for 2016.
Many clients that we see in our practice are worn out, run down, and confused as to why they don’t have the energy that they used to. After hearing these common complaints, we always ask them to describe their bedtime routine, including the amount of hours they get on average, the quality of their sleep (if they wake up during the night) and what time they are getting into bed.
9 times out of 10, there are big opportunities for sleep improvement, and we work together to create achievable sleep habits that will allow them to feel more rested and to give them more energy throughout the day.
With the New Year here, let’s resolve, together, in creating a better sleep routine with these most effective tips for a deeper, more satisfying night’s sleep.
Set a Bedtime
Getting up and going to bed around the same time everyday is the most efficient way to establish good sleep habits because doing so gets the body into a natural rhythm. It is estimated that the average person needs about 7-9 hours of sleep per night, so depending on what time your alarm goes off in the morning, you might need to try getting to bed a little earlier.
Set a bedtime and make the commitment to get into bed at that time. It might feel difficult at first (especially if you are usually up late), but trust that you’re body will adjust if you give it the opportunity. If 8 hours feels intimidating, try to gradually introduce an extra 30 minutes or hour per week, allowing your body to ease into this new routine.
Create a Bedtime Routine
When the sun goes down, our body begins to produce melatonin, which relaxes us and prepares us for slumber, but this natural process is often disrupted by all of the bright screens we surround ourselves with. Establishing a few practices to relax the body the hour before bed can help you fall asleep more easily. Here are some suggestions:
- turn off electronics at least an hour before your bedtime (yes, this includes the TV, computer and phone)
- focus on things that relax you, such as a cup of tea, a bath or some light music
- dim the lights to encourage melatonin production
- make time for some deep breathing or meditation
Eat at Least 3 Hours Before Bed
Going to bed with a full belly can be very disruptive to our sleep. Not only does asking our digestive system to work overtime deplete energy, but things like indigestion and changes in blood sugar can keep us up, preventing us from getting a deep and restful sleep.
Make a List and Let It Go!
If you find yourself tossing and turning in bed thinking about all of the things that need to get done the following day or week, try writing out a quick and simple list, and then remind yourself that nothing is going to get done at that moment, and it will all still be there for you to worry about tomorrow! Once this list is out of your head and on paper, commit to letting go of the stress and worry, and instead focus on relaxation by taking a few deep breaths and thinking of something peaceful.
Find Time For Exercise
Exercising is on most new year’s resolution lists, and although this usually has to do with weight loss, finding time for regular exercise can also improve your sleep! Time after time we see patients begin to get more restful sleep after incorporating exercise, and after just a short time, feeling the energetic benefits! Whether it be a yoga class, a run around the park or an intense cardio session, getting your heart rate up and helping the body sweat is a great way to support better, deeper sleep.
Including specific nutrients and herbs can be a wonderful way to receive additional sleep support without the risk of forming a dependency on sleeping pills. The Be Well Sleep Formula and Sleep Bundle are both great options for targeting brain activities that promote sleep without affecting daytime alertness.
Improve your sleeping with our FREE New Year Cleanse Workshop starting on Monday, January 18th. Sign up here and enter to win our exclusive $1,600 giveaway.