Sleep is possibly the most important activity you do each day, aside from nourishing and hydrating your body. Seeing that we spend one-third of our lives engaging in it, it’s crucial to our survival and success. Without it, our bodies cannot properly recover from the day’s activities, as well as our brains.
If you’re recovering from a mental health episode or an addiction, your body needs sleep that much more. Restful sleep can be the difference in healing and making a full recovery. Here are some suggestions for a better night’s sleep.
Establish a Regular Routine
Choose to go to bed each night at the same time and wake up at the same time each morning. This will set up a pattern for your body to fall into and soon it will expect sleep to fall in these parameters. Adjust your schedule if you need to, in order to be sure that you are getting a full 8-9 hours of sleep each night. Set a timer on your phone if needs be, to remind yourself it’s time for bed. Do the same routine of washing your face, brushing your teeth and your hair, and changing into your pajamas. This too will help your body know that it’s bedtime.
Refrain from Using Electronics
Looking at bright screens before bed can make it difficult to relax and fall into sleep. Not only because of the eye strain and staring at a screen, but also because your brain may feel hyped up about solving the mystery or engaging in thinking. You want to slowly shut your brain down. Turn the tv off, power down your phone, and close your book.
Whether you choose to listen to a meditation podcast, sit in silence, or pray, find your form of meditation. This will help you relax into sleep.
Keep Pen and Paper
Often times, it’s hard for individuals to shut off their brains. They find their minds just going and going. When that happens, keep a pen and paper next to your nightstand. If you have an idea that can’t wait until tomorrow or something you need to get off your chest, write it down. It will be there for you in the morning.
Do Not Eat or Drink Before Bed
Try to avoid eating or drinking anything two to three hours before bed. This will allow your body to be rested before going to sleep and not feeling too heavy.
Eliminate Caffeine Intake
Drop your coffee or soda habit. Caffeine is a stimulant and it will keep you up at night. If you must drink these during the day, try to drink them as early as possible.
Exercise During the Day
Engaging in physical activity throughout the day will help you to feel worn out and ready for sleep by bedtime. Try to spend at least 15 minutes each day expending your energy. Avoid exercising 1-2 hours before bed.
Set the Stage
Setting the stage and preparing to not only fall asleep but stay asleep, can be the ticket. Choose comfortable, clean bedding and amenities to surround you while you sleep. Soft sheets, pajamas, and a cooler temperature can make all the difference for a restful night. You want to avoid getting too cold or too hot because that can arouse you from your sleep. Use blackout curtains to block out light, set a cough drop and water bottle next to your bed, if you anticipate coughing spells. If you know that you do better with pressure against your muscles, consider the use of a weighted blanket. Sometimes people sleep better with static noise in the background. A box fan or sleep sound machine can often do the trick.
A Lavender Bath
Because of the stresses from the day, our bodies often ache by the night. Sometimes, they ache so much it’s hard to fall asleep. A warm soak in a lavender bath via Epsom salts or bubble bath can do the trick.
Do not give up. Sleep will come. Exercise regular and consistent patterns that will promote healthy sleep. Choose to focus on sleep and make it a priority. Your body’s well-being and success depend on it. As you establish a better sleep cycle, your body’s ability to fight off addiction, injuries, sickness, depression, and pretty much anything will improve dramatically. You’ll find yourself in a better mood and state of being. You’ll be able to focus and concentrate better, and you’ll be ready to tackle whatever the day has in store for you.