Sleep is something you might take for granted until you find yourself not getting enough and feeling exhausted all day. You might not be able to switch off and fall asleep and get a full night sleep despite the on-going tiredness you feel. Sounds familiar right? Stress and sleep are closely related and a problem of epidemic proportion for modern life. Wellness Coaching almost always includes good sleep hygiene as a strategy for overall health and wellness because the body self heals during sleep.
There's been plenty of research to support the benefits of a good night sleep, in fact everything from intelligence to creativity, energy, immunity, emotional regulation and clarity of mind is impacted by sleep quality and quantity. Without good, consistent sleep your health will begin to suffer.
If you're in the start up world or in business you might think it's ok to work into the night but you can soon loose sight of what is healthy and sustainable as sleep takes a back seat to your daily routine. If you find yourself travelling for work, sleep can also be challenging to fit into changing time zones and work commitments. Or if you have a lot on your mind the struggle might just be slowing down and switching off from fast paced cognition and residual stress in the body.
Let's look at some wellness coaching strategies to optimise your sleep by developing a daily sleep strategy, a sanctuary for unwinding and treating bedtime like it is one of the most important parts of your day/night.
Invest in the good bedding
We spend more than half our lives in bed so why skimp on bedding? Several years ago someone told me they buy one good set of bed linen every year and just take the sheets off and wash them on sunny days and put them back on the bed in the evening. They smell fresh from the outside air and the cotton quality is far better than if you were to buy several cheaper sets. Invest in good bedding, a supportive mattress and memory foam pillow, breathable high count bed linen and you'll be diving into bed for the ultimate experience.
Your bedtime routine
Workout the best time for you to go to sleep and allow a one hour wind down ritual to develop. The ideas is unplug before sleep and start a routine that slows down thinking, relaxes the body from the stresses of the day and allows you to gently put aside anything that is not yet completed. You may like to try my free 20 minute body scan meditation by downloading the Insight Timer app. Reading a book, cleansing your face, journal writing and sipping a warm milk and honey or herbal tea.
Do's and don'ts of getting a good night sleep
Now that your bedding and evening routine is starting to take shape let's also look at some do's and don'ts. Caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks are a big no, no and can prevent you from getting good quality sleep. Sleeping medications while sometimes necessary can get in the way of you developing long-term healthy sleeping habits and can produce dependancies. Try a warm bath with some lavender essential oils and going to bed at the same time each night.
What to do if you wake up?
If you wake up before morning and can't back to sleep, stay warm (keep Uggs beside the bed) get up and try going to the toilet and having a sip of water. You may like to read a book on the couch but keep off the digital devices and have the lights dimmed. Stay up until you feel sleepy again and try not to let yourself worry. If you find yourself worrying, you may like to try some self-compassion practice, let go of the critical voice and soothe yourself to sleep.
Now that you have some new ideas to help you get a good night sleep you might like to download my free Mindful Sleep Coaching Worksheet to help create a new sleep goal, understand your existing sleep patterns and keep you on track to developing a better sleep routine.