Sleep is definitely time that is precious to us all, as it allows us to recharge our batteries. Elle Smith shares her creative list of ways to inspire an amazing night of sleep.
There is no question that sleep is very important to our function, affecting mood, eating habits and how our body functions. Adults between 18 and 65 years, need approximately 7 to 9 hours sleep per night according to the National Sleep Foundation in the USA. This equates to around 2900 hours a year, which is a lot of sleep. It is vital that we give sleep the importance that it deserves.
"Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom"
Here is the Elle Smith 10-steps to an amazing night's sleep:
I always try to ensure that I remove anything from my bedroom, which is likely to stimulate me and therefore cause my brain to be active. This will include television, radio and even reading in bed. All of these activities should be completed about an hour before you actually go to bed, and left elsewhere rather than the bedroom. This way there will be no temptation to seek them out when you should be sleeping.
Eating just before bedtime is never a good idea as the stomach has to digest the food, and this can lead to stomach upset whilst you are trying to sleep. Equally, if you wake and feel hungry, then get up and go to eat but repeat your wind-down routine including allowing your digestion time to work.
Given we spend a lot of time in bed, maybe we don't give this activity the priority it deserves. The ambience of your bedroom will include many thing, but this is about making the room comfortable to induce sleep.
A bedroom should never be too cold, or even too warm and free from draughts and scent/smell. Now, that last one will seem strange but scents can irritate and may even cause allergies, which trigger sneezing or itching whilst you sleep.
I love clean, cotton sheets preferably Egyptian cotton. Some synthetic fabrics can cause irritation and allergy too. Silk is also luxurious, however some may find this otherwise natural fabric too warm; however I personally love this to sleep on.
Your bed is probably the first item and most important to address. I cannot stress the importance of having a comfortable bed. This may seem obvious but many people sleep in beds which are broken or even simply noisy. The mattress is equally important as this comes into contact with your body, in fact it is paramount to regularly replace your mattress as they accumulate moisture, old tissue and generally become less comfy over time. Some mattresses require regular turning, and airing your mattress is always a great idea.
Most of us will admit that night is when we tend to worry about the things that have concerned us during the day. This can lead to restless sleep, or waking intermittently as we revisit those problems and issues whilst we try to sleep. Once upon a time a great therapist told me about having "a worry list" at your bedside. We worry at night as we are anxious about dealing with an issue, and often cannot sleep as we know it is to be addressed. However, if you have a notepad and paper at your bedside, then you can write it down, and release this fear from your mind so as to return to a dreamy state of sleep.
This may sound too simple, however when you try this, you will realize that it truly does work. It is often the case, that we miss that which is glaring right at us.
Clearly, we all have worries and woes; and it is a constant in modern day life. However, it is not enough to just maintain a "worry list". We must equally start to deal with these issues and problems systematically. This will again free our minds for restful sleep, and even cause a feeling of euphoria at achieving success over problems. Guess what feeling happy and excited is also great for a wonderful night's sleep.
Train your body to know what is coming next - that is a great night's sleep. By having a routine, your body will know what to do next. I like to have a bath with aromatherapy scents, like ylang ylang and lavender. Add a nice cup of fresh mint tea to that and this is my heaven. Make sure that you work out what tells your body to shut down for sleep time, and each night follow this ritual to go off to sleep. Even if you wake, never stay in bed "thinking" about how you can get back to sleep, as it never works. Address the issue, if it's cold, then add a blanket and repeat your wind down routine in as many steps as you feel are required depending on the gravity of your disturbance.
Sleeping too late or even too early can be a problem as you will either wake early or not receive enough sleep time. Set a time that you feel comfortable with, as you body will acknowledge this by easing into the routine too. You should also make sure that you get enough hours of sleep as required, as stated adults need about 8 hours a night.
I always find that dehydration causes me headaches, so I tend to take a glass or bottle of water to bed. Ideally, you should drink a tall glass of water before bed, as this help to flush out your system, and for me reduces acid reflux. This is a vital measure if you have consumed alcohol earlier in the evening.
There is nothing worse than sleep in tight or uncomfortable clothing. Sometimes uncomfortable clothing can lead to skin irritation or dry skin. Personally, I have changed my habits to sleeping without night-time attire, as au naturel, especially in the Summer months is perfect!
Well, this is my list of ideas to inspire an amazing night's sleep. Of course, you can be as creative as you like, as you may just come up with your own formula for the perfect night of sleep.
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