5 Tips to Optimize your Sleep
February is the perfect month to catch up on sleep and recharge before spring arrives! Especially if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the cold, dark and short days of winter make it the perfect time to curl up indoors and get to bed early. Below are five of my favorite tips for falling asleep more quickly and waking up refreshed. Enjoy!
1. Establish a Routine
Creating an evening ritual is key in terms of helping your body and mind unwind as you prepare for sleep. Whether you draw a warm bath, meditate, read a good book, do some light stretching or just sit down with a loved one and catch up on their day – all of these activities signal that it’s safe for your body to relax. Using essential oils, such as lavender, which can be sprinkled on your pillow or diffused in your bedroom can help you reduce anxiety and achieve a deeper state of sleep.
2. Anticipate Your Tomorrow
Take 30 minutes in the evening to prepare the practical items that you will need for the following day. When you do this, you will wake up with a greater sense of calm and satisfaction knowing that your morning obligations are partly fulfilled – your clothes are picked out, your lunch is prepared, etc. You’ve now successfully reduced your stress and created a functional “Grab & Go” experience for yourself. If you’re responsible for children, you can do the same for them and make everyone’s morning more pleasant. Or, if children are old enough, enlist their help in preparing their items for the next day.
3. Maximize Your Tomorrow
Optimize your mindset and set yourself up for success. Take a few moments and review your accomplishments from the day – what did you do well? What were the highlights? What would you like to do better tomorrow or in the coming weeks? Once you have done this, create your To-Do list for the following day. This is the perfect time to empty your brain of everything that needs to be addressed. Writing all of this down will naturally give you a greater sense of clarity and ease, which in turn can lead to relaxation.
4. Unplug Before Bed
“Unplugging” a couple of hours before bed can easily provide you with serious benefits when it comes to experiencing a good night’s sleep. Keep work or emotionally charged activities to a minimum as this will allow you to fall asleep more quickly. Reducing the use of phones, tablets and TV watching before bed can also help you achieve a deeper state of sleep.
5. Be Thankful
Take a few minutes to reflect on what you are thankful for from the day. Create a gratitude journal if this feels right to you. Frequently revisiting what we are grateful for can powerfully shift our mood and allow us to feel a greater sense of satisfaction and appreciation for our life. This will put you in a positive and “secure” frame of mind as you fall asleep. Again, essential oils can be a nice part of this process.
Here’s to waking up refreshed!