So many of us struggle with energy management and being able to get the restful sleep needed to start our day off right. Sound familiar? Well if this does sound familiar, your are not alone! Over 80 million people in the USA are not getting enough sleep, so this post is designed to make sure you have the tools you need to no longer be a part of this statistic and so many other shocking statistics like this one. With 45% of the population struggling with sleep, exploring how to improve your sleep habits may very well transform your life.
My evening routine is critical because it ensures I get good sleep. For decades I under valued sleep, thinking it was overrated as I was obsessed with being productive. However, that mindset quickly changed as the effects of not taking proper care of myself, took its toll. won't bore you with the back story of how I broke free from unhealthy habits and limiting beliefs, but I feel compelled to show others what's possible. I found, overtime, lack of sleep made me less productive and negatively impacted my mental health and my relationships, as I found myself more reactive and less in control. Developing routines can be good for kids as well as parents. LIBERATING PARENTS FOR LOVE allows parents to gain balance by doing less, so they can achieve more. Since I am very driven, I often have to work on my healthy sleep habits or my mind often pushes me off course. Establishing boundaries for myself was key. For example, YES I'm an adult but I had to set a Bed Time for myself. Then I backed up 3 hours from my bed time and worked on habits to prepare me for bed. For example, even if I didn’t achieve all of my goals for the day, I leave the laptop in my office and my phone on the charger and don’t touch it for the rest of the night. I stop replying to messages and focus on my friends and family. That way, I can show up for my business, my family, and myself as my best self the next day. So create some boundaries for yourself. For most people knowing what to do isn't the problem... for most people, creating habits that work for them instead of against them is all but impossible. Remember we all start somewhere, so it's never to early or to late to make a change for the better. In this post we are going explore realistic ways to improve your sleep account and manage your energy level healthfully.
So before I even share the tips and the tricks to improve your sleep and restore your energy, I want to share when I started to learn all of this I thought to myself, that all sounds good but I just do NOT have time. MY ADVISE IS MAKE THE TIME! It's all about working smarter, not harder by harnessing your natural power within. So below we will discuss developing an evening routine. While your morning routine sets the tone for your day, your night routine sets the stage for your morning. Thus, those that pair the morning routine and evening routine to work together for the best results. So I found this exercise a game changer, as well.
So this post is to outline the rituals I have found with the guidance of mentors and science to create a safe, effective way to shut off your racing mind and induce a resorative sleep, despite technology overwhelming our bodies throughout the day disturbing out natural circadian rhythm. So one important tip is to create the environment that induces sleep! Often time we avoid change because of the fear of what we might lose or have to give up, but in this case, think about how much your life could improved if you were operating with a full battery (instead of feeling drained), and so you could have more mental clarity to be present and enjoy what matters most. So yes for optimal rest, it's suggested you:
Limit caffeine after noon and avoid anything caffeinated within 3 hours of sleeping
Avoid alcohol within 3 hours of sleeping
Avoid eating within 3 hours of sleeping
However, no one is saying you can't eat, consume caffeine, or drink alcohol, it's just suggested you be mindful of what and when you are putting into your body.
So a few hours before bed you are:
Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and high glycemic foods
Establish some healthy motion. This might be stretching or going for an evening walk. One of the reasons my husband and I moved to the sunny state of Arizona, was to be able to walk outside in nature all year round. We review our business strategies and challenges, catch up on each other’s day, we express our needs, talk about the kids, discuss what's working and what's not, and bounce new ideas off each other. Our nightly walks keep our bodies healthy, our mind clearer, and help us decompress at the end of the day.
Creating to create the environment that induces sleep, which may include dimming the lights, shutting off the electronics (or using blue light filters), and putting on soothing music. Set the thermostat to below 68 degrees.
Finishing obligations (kids to bed, chores, work, etc) and cleaning up clutter, to the best of your ability.
An hour before bed the following is suggested:
Brain dumping. I then create an action plan for the next day and write down my goals and what tasks I need to take to get closer to achieving these goals. Often times you may even need to block out time in your schedule for these important things. The key is not not let the day run you, giving priority to what's on your schedule but rather to schedule your priorities and delete, delegate, or defer what's left.
Turn off all blue lights: TV, Computers, Phones, etc.
Take a hot bath or shower to relax. When finished, if clothes are needed, pick loose fitting, lightweight clothes.
Avoid any additional water intake (when possible)
Within a half our of bed the following is suggested:
Self-care: teeth brushing, flossing, moisturizing, etc.
Place sleep inducing scents (chamomile, jasmine, lavender) on sheets and pillow
Keep a notepad next to your bed with your questions from this exercise as well as take a short time to reflect. I ask myself these questions: What's one thing I'm most grateful for today? What did I learn? How has today added to the quality of my life? How can I use today’s lessons to invest in improving my future? Once I’ve answered the questions, I visualize my greatest goals. When I do this right before bed, it allows my subconscious to go to work while I sleep, retrieving ideas and insights to make those dreams a reality.
Just before bed the following is suggested:
Go to the rest room, then get into bed.
Progressive relaxation/cuddle/massage/foot rub
All these last few things helps put your mind at ease and prepare you for bed. Your bedtime routine should help you stay focused on what you want in life. "We can not sit still producing nothing" (even when we sleep), "the mental machinery will keep on turning out work of some sort, and it rests with us to determine of what sort it shall be". Those that have embraced the structure I have outlined here, and make the time to be consistent with it truly find themselves sleeping better and find themselves inspired to tackle the next day bright and early, feeling recharged and enthusiastic.
Are you getting enough sleep? Is sleep an area of your life that needs improvement? Take a FREE Sleep Assessment and than setup a FREE meeting to customize a plan to improve your sleep and energy management. “The quality of life you lead largely depends on how well you sleep at night.” So don't take the habit of healthy sleep lightly. Use some of the tips from our Bedroom Makeover Post to get the best sleep possible.
Here at Stretch Beyond Impossible, we believe in equipping people with the structure and tools necessary to live a life of balance and fulfillment. Our mission is to empower others to overcome everyday obstacles, experience everyday wins, realizing that you have everything you need within, to create the life you desire!!
Often times trouble sleeping goes hand and hand with other aspects of your life. Take a FREE Well-Being Assessment to determine what areas to focus on first. None of us are perfect, we start where you currently are, let's setup a meeting to customize a plan to suit your needs, and create an action plan that takes you from where you are right NOW to where you WANT to be!!!