Sleep is a HUGE contributor to our quality of life and somehow seems to be the first pillar of health to hit the back burner. We are wearers of many hats with multiplying to-do lists and constant stimulation, but that should not translate to evading healthy sleep habits altogether.
Photo credit: Ashley Flaig
Logging ample amounts of deep, invigorating Zzzs is not only necessary, but it is extremely healing. Sleep is a form of self-care. When we hit the mattress, we’re giving our mind, body + soul the restoration it deserves.
Whether you are a morning lark or night owl, it seems to all come down to one key element: routine. Below are a few tips and tricks to help create a daily routine to log a deeper, dreamier sleep.
- Start your day with a big breakfast. Whether it’s a superfood smoothie or protein packed meal, give your body fuel when you start your day.
- Incorporate workouts. Studies show sweat sessions help promote deeper sleep.
- Cut caffeine 8 hours before bed. Instead of a mid-day coffee, create natural stimulation from a quick walk or 10 minute yoga sequence. Drink a glass of lemon water, use a refreshing spritz of stimulating essential oils or eat a delicious energy fat ball.
Figure out Your Sleep Schedule
- Find your natural sleep cadence. We are either early risers or we’re not. Learning and honoring your natural sleep-wake cycles will nourish you the best.
- Set your internal clock by going to bed and rising around the same time every day.
- Avoid sleeping in, even on days off. If you have a longer evening planned, exchange the additional hours at night for a midday nap — 15-20 minutes tops. This will eliminate jet-lag vibes when you return to your normal schedule.
Adopt a Nighttime “Wind Down” Routine
Transitioning straight from a busy day without properly disconnecting doesn’t give your brain time to unwind. It will still be working at the speed of our day making falling into restorative-like sleep nearly impossible — no one wants to roll out of bed feeling unsettled, unrested and uninterested in life no matter what side of the bed we wake up on! There are numerous ways to create a sleep conducive environment, but here are a few of our favorite methods.
- Turn down house lights. Dark environments send “slow down” signals.
- Log off from screen time 1-2 hours before bed. (email, internet, Instagram, TV, etc.). Our brains continue processing information even when we log off, keeping our subconscious active. We want to eliminate any direct form of activity right before bed that could potentially wake us during the night.
- Use a sound machine.
- Pour a cup of calming hot tea, Chamomile or Lavender are best.
- Diffuse/apply essential oils.
- Incorporate breathing, restorative yoga or meditation.
- Read a book or journal and settle any last thoughts of the day.
Everyone is different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adopt a routine that suits your lifestyle and leaves you at day’s end, deep in dreamland. In the give and take in life, make sleep non-negotiable. Start with a list of 5 things that help you unwind and put them into practice. Waking up energized and empowered is the definition of self-care.
About the Author
Tiffany Blackham is a YogaClub Tribe Leader, avid yogi, mom of 3, health & wellness advocate and creator of stonefoxfeather- a line of healing delights. She loves sharing her insights and daily doses of inspiration on living a life full of passion, balance, and soulful exchanges. More about Tiffany and her company can be found on her website TiffanyBlackham.com.