Let’s face it, this year has been nuts! More people are stressed than ever and beginning to feel the effects of long term stress on the body. One way to combat this is with getting enough sleep, so check out these tips below!
Go to bed and rise at the same time each day
Our bodies like to function on a cycle known as our circadian rhythm. This is our body’s internal clock which is effected by our schedules and our environment. Going to bed and rising around the same time every day helps to keep our natural cycle and kick in sleepiness at an expected time every evening.
Turn off screens at least one hours before bed
Studies have shown that artificial light can trick the brain into thinking that it’s still daylight outside, causing a delay in the natural function of winding down in the evening. The most common source of this in the modern day is smart phone and tablet use. Like to read at night? Swap your e-reader for paper and you’ll notice the difference.
Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night
It may seem like a lot but 8 hours of sleep is the base amount that we need to rejuvenate ourselves and go through the stages of sleep in one night. Even shorting yourself one hour of sleep a night can have a drastic effect on your energy levels the next day.
Try having a bath or shower before sleeping to relax
Trouble falling asleep? Try swapping your morning routine into a night time one for some relaxing hydrotherapy. Soaking in the tub has been used for relaxation for centuries!
Try out some relaxing essential oils before bed
Got some mild anxiety? Using calming scents like lavender can help put your mind at ease. Helpful tip: put a dab of oil on a kleenex so that when you are done with it you can remove the smell if you need to.
Use a weighted blanket
The results are in- weighted blankets are great to help calm the nervous system. This is especially true for people who struggle with sensory issues or have anxiety. They can help you fall asleep fast and stay asleep longer.
Have a cup of herbal tea
Want to feel a bit more sleepy naturally? Try a cup of herbal tea. Look for ingredients such as chamomile or lavender. We recommend Dharani’s Blessed Sleep blend. https://www.dharanihealingarts.com/shop/Blessed-Sleep-p69997636
Try out some relaxing music
Having a hard time getting in the right head space? Put on some relaxing music and let the sounds take you away. We recommend: Ambient Relaxation Spotify Playlist, biurnal beats, or white noise such as thunderstorms.
Listen to a guided meditation and do some breathwork
Music not your thing? No worries. try out a guided meditation instead. Youtube has a ton of great guided meditation lists to choose from for absolutely free!
Thoughts going around and around your head? Put them down on paper and journal it out.
We’re pretty starved for touch during this pandemic. Cuddling boosts oxytocin levels in the brain, the hormone of love and happiness. If you live with someone in your bubble, try getting a few more hugs. If you live with your romantic partner, make sure to get some cuddles and hand holding in.
Get a Massage!
Stuck at home quarantining and unable to access much human touch? Unfortunately that’s a reality for many people. In Ontario massage therapists are Regulated Healthcare Providers, which means we are still open to provide continuing care for people. Book in a massage in the evening to help wind down and pair it with a soothing tea when you get home; you’ll be ready for bed before you know it!
Cut caffeine out after lunch
We all know that caffeine does the opposite of making you sleepy! So cut out caffeinated beverages like pop, coffee, and tea after lunch.
Go for a gentle walk before bed
Exercise can naturally create a rise in endorphins and serotonin levels; more happy feeling chemicals in your body! Paired with gentle exercise you’ll be ready for a snooze.
Try restorative yoga before bed
Not a fan of outdoors during the winter? Try restorative yoga, which is a blend of prolonged stretches supported with bolsters/pillows and meditation. Youtube has some great free videos!
Get a new pillow
Did you know that we are supposed to change out our pillow at least once per year? This is because dust mites and allergens can build up in our pillows- yuck! A good pillow should support the natural curve in your neck without causing excess flexion or extension.
Is it time for a new bed?
When was the last time you bought a new mattress? If the answer is close to a decade ago, it might be time to look for a new one. Nearly half of our life is spent sleeping, so making sure you have a quality mattress can help you sleep better and wake up refreshed for your day!
Ask your doctor about these supplements
CBD oil and products can help anxiety and pain, Melatonin supplements can help you fall asleep, and magnesium supplements can help you feel calmer and reduce muscle aches. If any of these interest you talk to your doctor about whether they would be appropriate to add to your regimen.