With our busy lives it is common place for our sleep to suffer and it can almost seem expected that a successful person burns the candle at both ends, eats a poor diet and sleeps less than they should.
So, just how neglected are our sleep patterns? If we delve into Matthew Walkers bestselling book this becomes very clear.
“In the UK and Japan, for example, 39 and 66 percent, respectively, of all adults report sleeping fewer than seven hours. Deep currents of sleep neglect circulate throughout all developed nations, and it is for these reasons that the World Health Organization now labels the lack of societal sleep as a global health epidemic (approximately 800 million people) will not get the necessary sleep they need this coming week.”
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
So, if this sounds like something that effects you and your loved ones, or you feel you could make improvements read on and discover my Top Ten Tips for Better Relaxation and Sleep.
TIP 1: Journaling
To diary or as its commonly known these days, "to Journal” this it is the practise of taking time to write down our thoughts. So you may be thinking “how do I do this?” well, how you choose to journaling is down to your own personal preference. If you like writing on your iPad great write there, or if you like writing on paper do that but I recommend using a beautiful journal and a favourite pen. When you consider what to write it could be simply writing about your day, perhaps there were challenges or stresses and happy times. It can be very cathartic to release through writing your thoughts that are going round your head – why not clear the clutter today.
TIP 2: Food and Drink
We often overlook food and drink however it can be very influential on our bodies rest and relaxation. Consider the warm milk often given to children at bedtime or the energy bar eaten before the gym, these items are considered to support the given need at that time. In the same way we can harness food and drink to support relaxation and sleep.
Food and drink with caffeine can dramatically influence us and given that the half life is 6hours it would be beneficial to reduce intake after midday – truly not a popular topic as many of us (myself included) love our Coffees and Teas. One drink to consider adding to your evening routine is Chamomile Tea or you could consider snacking on Walnuts and Almonds which are naturally high in Melatonin (supportive of your sleep cycle).
Discover many more ideas at Medical new today Read More
TIP 3: Essential Oils
We have probably all heard of Lavender supporting relaxation and ergo sleep and did you also know for some it can also be a stimulant? There are so many oils to choose from to support mood and relaxation so you're bound to discover a perfect combination for your needs.
The most popular way to use Essential Oils is to diffuse, if you are not familiar with diffusing the type I recommend are ultra sonic diffusers. This is the type where a disk moves very fast and this causes a cool mist of both water and Essential Oil to disperse around the room(s). When you diffuse you can enjoy the great many health benefits for both body and mind - where possible get a diffuser with a 10 or 12hr timer as this is very supportive at night.
Learn more about Essential Oils on our FREE Online Class.
TIP 4: Colouring
Who knew an enjoyable past time from childhood could help? The motion of back and forth is soothing and can calm our breathing and gently help us focus on the present. This is a wonderful way to fully immerse ourselves in the art we are creating. Consider the balance of colours and what you find a pleasing combination. You really have the ideal opportunity to regain focus to the task at hand and relax. Did you know that even doodling helps to reduce stress levels? In studies related colouring results have found significant reductions in cortisol levels where shown.
Download your FREE Mandala to Colour below.
TIP 5: Gentle Yoga
There are countless benefits to yoga from core strength to improved mood. It is a practise that when I was first introduced to yoga I found very difficult but on reflection the class was too advanced for a newbie. I rediscovered yoga on recommendation from a friend and I have got to say an online class is far less embarrassing from the comfort of my home with no advanced yogis seeing this newbie learning the basics.
Check out this lovely 20min Bedtime Yoga by Adriene Click Here
TIP 6: Weighted Eye Mask
I adore weighted eye masks and personally find them very calming and relaxing. For me this definitely compliments a restful night sleep. They work by providing gentle pressure to the eye area. They also give the added benefit of blocking out light. On the research side it is early days with studies and it appears widely suggested to support relaxation. Definitely a product to keep your eye on so to speak and see if future studies confirm what we suspect.
Here is one I love Click to View
TIP 7: Mindful Meditation
Mindful meditation has been shown in many studies to benefit individuals by helping to reduce stress levels. If you have taken part, or even found your own way of relaxing and pausing, how did you feel afterward? - I expect you recall a moment of tranquillity and zen. If you are yet to try this, why not try today.
If you're not ready to try meditating, why not start small with a few mindful exercises - here is one of my favourites, these gorgeous cards are packed full of great mindful ideas.
TIP 8: Reading
Taking time to read at the end of a day has many benefits from reducing stress, lowering heart rate to even boosting your empathy. Allowing your body to gently relax while you enjoy you favourite book title is a great past time. For many they find this is well worth creating as a new habit, if you don't already enjoy this why not make a start. It is important to read a real paper back or hard back book or even a magazine for the full benefit. If you go for the digital version especially before you go to bed it means you do not get the full effect of ensuring your Melatonin does its magic (see also tip number 10).
TIP 9: Gratitude
With so many demands we all experience it can be easy to feel stressed too often.
There are a vast number of studies showing reduction in cortisol levels from practicing Gratitude. This is great news for those of us that desire to enjoy lower levels of stress in our lives. I count myself amongst those desiring less stress and more relaxation. To practise this technique you can get a gorgeous notebook or gratitude journal or simply pause and consider what you are grateful for. You may wonder where to start so if you find it hard to be specific for example "I am grateful for my loving partner" perhaps try more general gratitude of being grateful for "the new day."
Studies related to Gratitude Click Here
TIP 10: Blue Screen
Did you know it is natural for "blue wave light" to occur in the morning sunlight which supports our body with production of our Serotonin hormone - promoting alertness and focus. In the afternoon the sunlight is orange and red. This wave length supports our Melatonin levels to rise helping us relax and get ready for a restful night sleep.
Now, here is where the problem lies as a society we are increasingly using technology to entertain ourselves, we watch a movie before bed on TV or a device emitting blue light or we scroll social media - then we ask why the quality of our sleep is so poor and we feel unrested.
Consider what you can do to help reduce your own screen time and encourage improved relaxation and sleep in your life.
Top Products for Relaxation and Sleep
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