Getting enough sleep is a big deal. Restful deep sleep is essential for restoring the physical and mental body. Any excess physical, mental or emotional stress you experience gets repaired when you sleep at night. If you’re not able to get enough sleep to restore your body, your body responds with stress hormones, pushing you into a continual state of inflammation. Indicating to your body that it’s detrimental to your survival to stay up and be wired.
Here's what you can do to get better sleep.
Get to bed to early
Getting to bed no later than 10:00 pm will help you reap the full benefits of your restorative time for both the body and the mind. Your physical repair time occurs from 10:00 pm – 2:00 am and your mental repair time occurs from 2:00 am – 6:00 am.
If you’re getting to bed too late, start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier every night until you’re going to bed at 10:00 pm on a regular basis. This allows your body can gradually adjust to the change.
Get Rid of All Distractions Before Bed
Assess your nightly routine. If you’re getting any screen time before bed this can negatively effect your ability to wind down and get to sleep at night. The light that you get from a computer screen or TV can create a cortisol response which could keep you from getting into a restful sleep for at least two hours afterward.
I suggest shutting down your computer two hours before you begin winding down and turning down the lights. Shut down your computer after dinner or come up with a time that works for you. If you shut it down you’re less likely to go through the trouble of turning it back on.
Turn down the light
Start turning down the lights at dusk. As the day comes to a close train your body to wind down by giving it less stimulation with your lighting. Bright lighting at night can trick your body into thinking it’s day time. I recommend using a salt rock lamp which emits a softer soothing light or use candles.
Become aware of the value you get from sleep
Most likely you feel better. Consider this a value and a priority. You can only repair your body with enough sleep. Just remember anything you feel like you miss out on during the night by staying up late you end up missing out on the next two days or more depending on how often you stay up late. Your sleep deficit builds up the more sleep you miss out on. This will negatively effect your concentration, focus and energy in the days following.
Take a Hot Bath
An epsom salt bath is wonderful for winding down at night. The magnesium is great for relaxing your muscles and nervous system. Try adding lavender essential oil which is a great for calming your nervous system along with candles and some soothing music.
Stretch Your Body
Stretching can be most beneficial right before bed. Since you’ll be laying down in a relaxed position for about 8 hours your body will most likely hold the stretch better. Stretching also calms and relaxes the body naturally.
I get on the floor every night and pick out three stretches. Sitting on the floor motivates me to move around and stretch, whereas if I were on the sofa I’d be way more comfortable and less likely to want to move. I also recommend Feldenkris movements or Qi gong before bed. These help to calm the nerves and connects you to your breathing for better sleep.