5 Simple Tips for a Deeper Sleep TonightNov 04, 2022
You know the vital importance of sleep yet you procrastinate your bedtime, you snooze the alarm or drink that extra cup of coffee.
Or you blame your young kids on your poor sleep! I have been guilty of all of these.
A compassionate approach to sleep is essential if you are on this continuous journey of growth towards human flourishing.
The old way of personal growth was to work with no sleep. The data is unequivocal now - rest is vital.
These tips have allowed me and my clients to recover faster from illness, have fewer 'monkey mind' moments and maintain the energy levels required to keep accomplishing goals.
Here are 5 simple tips for a deeper sleep tonight:
1. The purpose of sleep is to heal
In the rushing around of modern life, it is easy to forget the purpose of sleep - to heal.
Less than 4 hours of sleep in one night significantly increases your risk of the common cold.
Heal your mind, body and soul. This means that, if you cannot sleep, you can still rest with your eyes closed and receive the benefits for your immune system and stress system.
These controlled 'recovery periods' were used by the Manchester United football team in their prime.
When you can learn to relax your body, slow your brain waves and connect to a deep restful state, you will feel more refreshed and be able to serve at the next level.
15 to 30 minutes of closing your eyes is all that is necessary. Try it.
2. A wind-down routine trumps a strict bedtime
Do you have a self-compassionate sleep routine? What I learnt from lifestyle medicine is that we have very unrealistic expectations of our sleep.
We set strict bedtimes and strict wake-up times, to the minute.
We blame ourselves if we fail to wake up or go to bed on time. This activates our mind and prevents us from sleeping anyway! Who knows this?
Set a wind-down routine tonight to prime your body for sleep. Never skip this routine, even if you are late for bed. The wind-down directly impacts your sleep quality.
3. Move every day, in every way
Looking at the data from my Oura ring sleep tracker, it is so clear - when I go for my morning walk, I sleep deeper in the evenings.
This is because of melatonin release at night, the relaxing benefits from the endorphins and the clearing of waste throughout the body that movement aids.
4. Think light, not always right
A 2012 UK sleep survey showed us that 4 in 5 people struggled with sleep because they were thinking about what they should have done that day.
Thinking judgmentally activates the threat system in our brain and releases 'anti-sleep hormones' like cortisol.
Our thoughts are hugely implicated in the depth and quality of our sleep.
Journal before bed, have a soothing conversation or meditate to release the thoughts that will hold you back from a deep night's sleep.
5. Be meticulous about your environment
Temperature acts as the switch for sleep. Personally, I have seen great benefits in being meticulous about the lighting and temperature in my home.
Even a small amount of bright light before bed has the ability to suppress our melatonin for hours, disrupting sleep.
Brush your teeth with a candle, wear blue-light-blocking glasses, take a warm shower or get a mattress cooler for optimal sleep. If you would like that level of optimisation, the details in your environment matter.
Enjoy these practices, and let me know how you get on with them.
"The purpose of sleep is to heal, never forget that."
What's one tiny shift you could make to deepen your sleep?
Bring the energy you wish to receive this week.
Become More Consistent Through The Practice Of Self-Compassion
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