Many of us embark on health and well being journeys at the start of the year and I'm no different. My aim last year was to improve my physical health but this year I'm tackling something different; my spirituality as well as my emotional and mental well being. I am such a stress pot; an unfortunate consequence of being a control freak. When things don't go to plan it can seriously affect my mood and my productivity. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to this but did you know that your quality of sleep or lack there of can affect these aspects of your life immensely?
Over the past few weeks I've made it my mission to implement better practices to make sure I'm not only getting a good amount of sleep but that I'm getting a better quality of sleep all round. This brings me to today's post which is all about my 5 top tips for great sleep. I'm hoping you find at least one helpful.
Having a routine to follow before bedtime has had a great impact on my well being. Not only is having some sort of structure and familiarity helpful but my routine has also helped me build good habits. I never go to sleep without brushing my teeth as well as cleansing and moisturising my face. These simple tasks are not just great for getting the unwinding process started but they are also very good habits to have in general.
Ultimately following these steps is not just beneficial to getting a good night's sleep but also to my physical and mental health. Conscious thought is taken away whenever I'm doing my routine. My body is almost on auto pilot and I just get on with it. As a result I feel much more relaxed knowing where I need to be and what I should be doing. This ultimately helps with de-stressing and is beneficial for mental health. Funny huh? That something so small can have such a great impact.
Stretching is something I've started doing before bedtime only recently. I personally love it because I can do it right from the comfort of my own bed. The greatest yoga mat ever invented. I find my bedtime stretches on Pinterest and I've found that a good stretch will have me feeling more relaxed and will improve my quality of sleep. I find that I sleep better and through the night whenever I stretch and that I also wake up feeling more energised.
Besides the benefit of a good nights sleep, bedtime stretching can also reduce injury. I used to wake up with occasional shoulder and neck pain before incorporating bedtime stretches. I started doing stretches which targeted my problem areas and now all that pain is a thing of the past. I know some of you are probably a little bit cynical right about now. I was too. I challenge you to try this easy strectch routine and let me know how you sleep. comment below by saying challenge accepted if you try it out.
Raise your hand if you fall asleep with your phone in your hand or beside you. Don't be shy now... I'm definitely guilty of this too. I would get ready for bed and decide to scroll through Instagram 'just for ten minutes'. Two hours, a lot of double taps and funny videos later I would still be awake. This habit adversely impacted my sleep. I found myself not getting enough sleep which affected my overall productivity.
I knew I couldn't eradicate using my phone altogether before bed because it has literally everything on it. From my bible to my social media, my whole life is in my phone. I opted to allow myself a few minutes each night to use my phone; but in a positive way. I start with listening to my daily sermon by my favourite pastor Joel Osteen. If I've listened to my sermon earlier in the day I listen to a chapter from my current Audible book (21 days to resilience) and after that I place my phone on the far end of my bedside table.
By rationing my bedtime tech allowance in this way I have found that I am not on my phone for hours on end and I actually stick to my bedtime, this allows me to get enough sleep and ultimately helps me feel more energetic and productive.
Quiet time for me usually happens after my bedtime stretches. It involves spending a few minutes saying a prayer and meditating over the things that I am thankful for and the things I want. Quiet time might mean something completely different to you but I definitely encourage you to have it.
I find that it is important to have those few minutes each day to allow yourself to relinquish the days baggage. Whether it be through prayer or through meditation and breathing exercises. This will help you reduce anxiety and stress and help you sleep better which will have great all round benefits.
Sleeping positions are one thing I've never really thought of. I only started thinking about the way I sleep when I started getting occasional neck pain and shoulder pain as I mentioned above. Doing a few simple things can make all the difference in not only preventing injury but also in making sure you get a good nights sleep. Making sure I don't lay my head on more than two pillows, propping one of my cushions between my knees when I lay on my side and hugging a pillow are just a few of the simple things I've done to revise my sleeping positions. I know it may sound ridiculous but I'm hoping this nifty video by Adjustamatic can help illustrate how these three simple things as well as others, can make all the difference.
Changing your mattress every 8 years is also another important practice that can ensure that your mattress is giving you the support and comfort you need to foster good quality sleep and prevent injury. As well as changing your mattress every 8 years you can also go the extra mile by actually investing in mattresses that have features and technology to help relieve aches and pains. The Aveon memory foam adjustable bed mattress is one such mattress. with memory foam, compact pocket springs and a visco-elastic layer, this mattress is guaranteed to give you a great nights sleep.
Hope you'll all be having a great night's sleep after today's post. What are some of your tips to making sure you get a good night's sleep?