If you struggle with a sleep disorder like 40 million other Americans or have trouble feeling rested, sleep may feel like an elusive unicorn that you can never quite catch.
As you probably know, sleep deprivation is no joke. A lack of sleep leads to higher levels of anxiety and depression, puts you more at more risk for health concerns such as heart attacks, and also endangers yourself and those around you because it can impair your judgment.
In other words, It is challenging, if not impossible, to be our best selves when we are are not sleeping well.
Sleep patterns are dictated by our circadian rhythm, which is like an internal biological clock that tells us when to do things. This circadian rhythm can get confused by stimulation and interruptions in our environments.
For many years, one of the most significant regulators of this cycle was natural light, so it was intuitive for people to wake with the sun and go to sleep, or at least begin to wind down when it set.
Now that we have a world full of artificial lights, electronics, and screens, it has become a lot more challenging to make sure that rhythm is occurring in a healthy way. Being more intentional about easing ourselves into sleep through natural practices may help us find good rest.
If you are ready to wake up feeling refreshed so that you can have more energy to do the things you love, join us in trying the five tips below for slowing down and finding better sleep.
Like everything, these tips all take practice and experimentation to see what works best for you, but we are confident that few things in life are more worthy of this trial and error than good sleep.
Here’s to deep breaths, new habits that allow more profound living, and a full night’s rest!
Routine is crucial to winding down in the evenings.
As we mentioned above, a reason many people struggle to sleep is a lack of intention to slow down after busy days.
We are bombarded with so much stimulation throughout our day that it can be really difficult to go quickly from a fast pace day straight into a mindset of rest.
Creating an evening routine will allow you to use the last few hours of your day to ease yourself into sleep.
This does not have to be complicated. Your routine can simply be reading a book, brushing your teeth, stretching for a few minutes, taking three deep breaths, drinking tea, and then getting into bed.
Creating a routine and sticking to it will train your mind to anticipate the rest that is coming.
This super simple 4-7-8 breath will help you release anxiety by slowing down the thoughts in your mind and reminding you that those thoughts do not have to run the show.
If you are one of the many of us who struggles with “turning the mind off,” this simple breathing technique is just what you need. How to do 4-7-8 breath:
Caffeine is a stimulant that lingers in your system long after you enjoyed your warm beverage.
If you find yourself feeling wired when it is time to go to bed, try backing off on your coffee and/or caffeine intake.
Drinking herbal tea in the afternoon may help you to feel relaxed.
Lavender is the most common relaxing essential oil which eases tension in the body and creates a peaceful environment.
An hour or so before bed, add a few drops of lavender to your diffuser in your bedroom or try our Free Spirit Mat and Meditation Mist.
If you watch Netflix as you fall asleep, you aren’t alone. In fact, more than half of Americans to admit to watching television right before bed.
Screens are a stimulant that majorly interrupts our circadian rhythms, keeps our heart rate up, and can make our mind race with thoughts.
Try swapping out that nighttime episode of “Friends” for a relaxing book or meditation practice. We get quickly hooked to our devices.
We even receive shots of feel-good hormones when we continually come back to our screens (hello, addiction!).
Try making a routine without screens that you can stick to, and invite your family to join you. Consistency and support will make this transition smoother. Trust us; sleep is worth it!
Sending you hugs and love.