27 May Top Tips to Build a Successful Sleep Routine
A good night’s sleep will prepare you for the day ahead. It will enable you to concentrate, perform at your best, and to keep yourself mentally and physically healthy.
When you fall into the habit of sleep problems this can become debilitating to your whole physical and mental wellbeing; anxiety builds which induces the stress related hormone cortisol, causing you to be more alert and even less likely to sleep so that you feel overtired and are more prone to colds and infections.
Forming a healthy sleep routine is a very positive step forward to enabling you to improve your whole life.
Sleep is vital for the healing process, to allow your body to rest and, as recent research has discovered, to enable your brain to dispose of toxins as we explored in our previous eshot One more reason to get a good night’s sleep.
Create an ideal sleep environment in your bedroom – make sure you keep your room cool, dark and quiet at bedtime and keep it ventilated with dark or black out curtains and cut out any white noise. The ideal temperature is around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you feel uncomfortable or wake up with aches and pains, it is worth investing in a new mattress. We spend approximately a third of our lives asleep, so it is well worth spending the time checking out mattresses in the shops rather than buying online. Manufacturers recommend a new mattress every eight to ten years.
An optimum sleep environment will enable you to create a successful sleep routine to keep you physically and mentally healthy.
Keep your bedroom free of electronic devices – this may seem an impossibility in today’s fast flowing data environment! By removing the television, computers, laptops, tablets, and mobiles you can eliminate that stressful constant newsfeed and the buzz of notifications as well as tempting background noise. This also maintains a break from work, outside interests and contacts, so that you can genuinely relax and put yourself first.
It is vital to invest in yourself – your physical and mental wellbeing – by maintaining your work and personal life balance so that you can give your peak performance.
Take time to prepare for tomorrow – if you have an important meeting or presentation, make sure that you have everything ready the evening before so that you are not anxious during the night. Check and double check the little details such as contact numbers, your journey time, and that your outfit is clean, pressed and presents you at your best. Check you have all your notes and information, and practise important points you want to include. Visualising the event will empower your to feel at your best and to be fully prepared.
Preparation will enable you to give a peak performance in whatever challenge you face tomorrow.
Create an unwinding transition each night as your bedtime routine – switch off your devices at least an hour before you go to bed, and make some special calming “me” time. Take a bath, have a five minute mindfulness session, write in your Gratitude Journal, read a light positive book, colour in one of the adult focused colouring books, and take some deep breaths before you go to bed. Remember to avoid work issues and emotional discussions.
Our previous eshot on Mindfulness gives you the benefits of including sessions in your daily routine to de-stress.
Build an exercise session into your daily routine – taking regular exercise will always benefit you physically, mentally it will enable you to deal with stress and it will help induce cortisol to maintain alertness for performance during the day. Make sure you finish any intense exercise at least three hours before winding down so that your body has time to relax.
Eat a lighter evening meal at an earlier time and manage your fluid intake – while building a sleep routine, think about eating your main meal earlier in the day and avoid heavy processed carbohydrates. Obviously, we all know it is essential to keep hydrated and drink water but make sure you drink less later on so that you are not waking up to go to the bathroom so disturbing your routine. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol from around three hours before bedtime. When you are stressed from work and family life, it is very easy to fall into a routine of indulging in the extra wine, cigarettes or snacks to compensate – we’ve all done this!
If you do fall into a habit, make sure you keep two or three days free in the week to allow your body to detox, and create a new positive activity such as a short evening walk to relax you.
If you wake up in the night – don’t just lie awake worrying as this will perpetuate your anxiety levels.
Go downstairs and have a camomile tea, read a book, do some relaxation exercises or write down positive thoughts and memories in your Gratitude Journal.
By taking action and building your positive sleep routine, you take control of your thoughts and behaviour through a positive habit which will enable you to concentrate, think more clearly, and perform at your best during the day.