The lack of proper sleep can have an overwhelmingly negative effect your mental health, physical health, productivity and overall quality of life.
The Art of Going to Bed celebrates simple steps for investing in the most important part of the day, preparing to sleep!
Between our careers, families and other important things we care about, taking the time to care for ourselves often takes a back seat.
As a mom, wife and entrepreneur I had to find creative moments to nurture and sustain my mind, body and spirit and preparing to sleep has become a vital and sacred practice that I award myself with at the end of the day.
This practice helps me to resign the stresses of the day, submit to rest and rise better prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow!
We all know what it means to sleep. And because it’s so easy even a baby can do it, it can be extremely frustrating when we have to wrestle with it every night. And because it appears to be a simple concept, we can take for granted how important it is to our mental health, physical health, productivity and overall quality of life.
So before we go any further, let’s start by reminding ourselves of some simple sleeping basics.
- Go to bed at the same time every night.
- Pick a bedtime when you’re usually tired.
- Get 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks before bed
- Stay away from big meals close to bedtime
- Avoid alcohol before bedtime.
- Minimize noise and light.
- Avoid late evening naps.
- Minimize the consumption of liquids close to bedtime.
- Exercise early.
- Some hot teas and warm milk are said to help you sleep better as well.
The ability to manage everything on your mind is a major task when preparing to sleep. I used to have the habit of settling into bed, staring into the air and revisiting the events of my day. The quiet of bedtime became a trigger for my mind to wonder. I’d think about what happened during the day, what I did, what I didn’t do, what I should have done and how I’d fix everything tomorrow! And eventually, this became normal.
But what I didn’t realize was:
- This was becoming a bad habit and a regular unhealthy bedtime ritual.
- These late night thoughts would seep into my dreams.
- I was allowing my bed to be a place where I rehashed my worries and plans.
- Worry and planning was becoming the very last thing I did right before I’d close my eyes to sleep.
- The physical action of getting into bed was becoming a trigger for worrying and planning.
All these things contributed to shallow and unsettled sleep while also causing me to wake up super conscious of the stresses of the day before.
Do this instead: