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We’re going to talk about sleep this month on Wellness Wednesday. I debated doing a Christmas theme, but then I decided: sleep is entirely relevant to this season.
Because we’re busy, and we need more of it.
So here are 20 ideas to implement for getting better sleep, and getting it naturally:
1. Keep your bedtime and wake up times consistent
2. During the day, get outside and soak up natural light
3. Exercise each day
4. Get more magnesium in your diet (through seeds, nuts, dark greens, beans, molasses, etc.)
5. Avoid caffeine from the afternoon on
6. Don’t eat sugar (including carbohydrates) before bed
7. Reset your routine so you can get to bed earlier (some of your best-quality sleep occurs before midnight!)
8. Close down electronics (computers, TV, etc.) at least an hour before bed
9. Take a hot bath
11. If tea’s not your thing, sip warm milk with honey
12. Use lavender (in a sachet under your pillow, or added to a hot bath either in dried herb form or in essential oil form)
13. Dim the lights when you begin your bedtime routine
14. Request a massage from someone you love
15. Black out your bedroom (model it after a cave with the lights turned out)
16. Keep the bedroom cool (below 68 degrees, if possible)
17. Keep your feet warm in bed (wear socks!)
18. Write your to-do list down for the next day before turning out the light
19. Don’t focus on any one thing; let you mind loose when you hit the pillow
And the one that has been the biggest lesson for me…
20. If you’re not sleeping at night, do something about it!
It is murderously hard to break out of the whirlpool of a sleepless night, but you need to do it! Don’t waste hours and energy tossing and turning–get up!
If I’m having a bad night (usually because I disregarded the items above, like forgoing caffeine in the afternoon) I force myself to get up. I make a cup of tea or warm milk and sit in the living room, sipping my drink sloooowly and praying. It’s worth it to spend 20 or 30 minutes resetting my mind, rather than tossing and turning for hours hoping the spell will break.
Now that you have a few ideas for capturing sleep naturally, we’ll talk next week about some of the cool things that happen to your body during your subconscious hours!