I am starting a Self-care Sunday series on my blog where I will share my favorite self-care tips and why self-care is important. Today I will be talking about ways to improve yours sleep and how that relates to self care. Sleep is important, I love sleep. I love crawling into clean, soft bedsheets with the lights turned off. I love wrapping blankets around me and slowly drifting off. But— sometimes this does not happen, for many reasons. For me, I struggle with sleep when I am stressed about work/school and I find myself flooded with thoughts. I usually end up falling asleep but I toss and turn so much that I don’t get a good restful sleep. Sound familiar? Without sleep I am not nice. I am anxious. I am cranky, and I am easily agitated. Getting a restful sleep helps to regulate your body and ensure that everything is functioning properly. It also gives you energy and when you get enough sleep your mood and mental clarity improve. You know that saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Well, first you need to take care of yourself, before trying to help those around you. I am going to share five easy and free ways to improve your sleep. I try to use most of these little tips every night as they usually always help me fall asleep or allow me to have a restful sleep. I have incorporated these tips into my night-time routine which always includes writing in my journal.
1. Shower: I had always been a morning showering kinda gal. It was not until I started playing sports at university and had practice in the evenings that I realized how nice it was to go to bed fresh outta the shower. I visualize myself washing the day off while I shower. Some days are hard and I often find myself taking parts of my job home with me. So, when I have my shower before bed I visualize washing the day off, ridding myself of those thoughts about work, school, and everyday life stressors. These are the thoughts that usually keep me up at night, so I have really benefited from including this into my night time routine.
2. Gratitude List: Writing down at least 3 things from my day that made me think “huh, my day wouldn’t have been as good without this.” Yes, it can be simple things like your morning coffee, because lets get real, my day would not go nearly as smooth without coffee. Once you get into the groove of writing gratitude lists you’ll find it easier to come up with things tow write. You will also probably notice that as you continue to write gratitude lists, you’ll start appreciating smaller, more abstract things, people, and events in your everyday life.
3. Put Your Phone Away: I know, it sounds hard. But—give it a try. Put your phone away like 15 minutes before going to bed. Set your alarm, text your parents, do whatever you need to do then hide it in a drawer and turn the sound off. It will help. For more information on why this is amazing for you, click here.
4. Give yourself some love: Okay, not like that. Get your head out of the gutter! One thing I love doing before bed is giving myself a nice little foot and hand rub. Our feet carry so much for us, they help us get where we need to go. Massaging the feet and hands helps me to relieve any tension that may have built up over the day. It helps me to relax and unwind before heading to bed, plus it is proven to benefit sleep and reduce overall stress and tension. For more information on the benefits of foot massage, click here.
5. Meditation: Life changing. Meditation before bed allows me to take time to connect to the breath and focus on the present. As I mentioned earlier, I take my work home with me a lot and meditating before bed helps me to disconnect from the work part of my brain. It also generally relaxes me. I prefer to use guided meditations that are 10 minutes in length, because by that time I am pretty much asleep. I then incorporate 10 affirmations that I am currently using before drifting off to a deep, restful sleep.
Leave me a comment with your tips to getting a better sleep at night! I am always on the hunt for different ways to get a better rest.