Nine Top Tips to Improve your Sleep

Thursday, March 15, 2018

You have probably heard of a hundred ways to improve your sleep and yet you are not getting that amazing night of dreams you were hoping for. Sometimes, it is the baby crying, the sick child or the noise from the street, but most of the time it is your mind racing around and not allowing your thoughts to cease. 

So let's focus on your mind for a minute. You know in your brain that a certain amount of hours of sleep is good for you, you have read all the data. So what is missing?

I think that a lot of people have not fallen in love with sleep. Or maybe they have fallen out of love with sleep. So I want to set you up with your own sleep, prepare the perfect atmosphere, light up the candles, turn on the melody and let nature takes its course.

You see, God made you to sleep and sleep was made for you. There is this beautiful story of Adam being placed under a deep sleep and when he wakes up and sees a beautiful lady standing right next to him, he may have thought he was dreaming, but he was actually seeing his most prized and loved companionship that God created out of his rib. 

Your entire internal clock is set up to trap you under the covers, sometimes against your will, because your body seeks those loving feelings, of being so into a sleep that it hurts when you are not.
The sun gets out of its way every evening to let you experience that moment of pure bliss when your head falls into the pillow. Darkness takes over the skies, sparkling with stars, an entire spectacle of beauty to introduce you to one more night, one more secluded moment to enjoy sleep.

So here are Nine Top Tips to improve your sleep:
1. Look forward to the moment: The darkness you see outside at night is your first clue to slow down, let your eyes rest from all the light. Besides technology, the introduction of fluorescent light bulbs in most houses affects your sleep. The bluer temperature of these lights stimulates your brain changing biorhythms, stress hormones, emotions, arousal levels and muscle tension. Candlelight is your healthiest option after sunlight, followed by incandescent. This problem is so big that NASA replaced the orbiting laboratory's fluorescent bulbs with LED's that change from blue, white and red according to the time of the day. Blue light suppresses your melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep. One of the solutions, besides going darker in the evenings, is to use Blue Blocking glasses

2. Get ready for the encounter: Don't expect to jump into a restful sleep after having your emotions shaken by a thriller movie. Prepare your eyes AND your mind for the moment. Your brain does not know the difference between a movie and a real event, it feels the emotions the same way. Take time to relax before going to sleep, your brain won't relax watching TV, it will work even harder. 

3. Set up the scene: Don't drink your way into sleeping the same way you may drink your way into waking up. Caffeine has its benefits, but try to keep it away from afternoons and evenings.  In the same way, alcohol will not help you relax, it may cause you to be more sleepy but it will affect the quality of your sleep leading to more tiredness and not rest. If you would like to create a nighttime ritual, make some concentrated camomile tea with a small amount of water before bedtime (not to create restroom visits). Settle down with a relaxing book, or a notebook so you can write down any thoughts to clear your mind. 

 4. Let go of misconceptions: Sleep is not your enemy, trying to steal time from your life. Sleep is your friend, is your allowance for a hard worked day. Accept it as a gift. Let it be a prized moment when you let go of trying to control the universe and settle to be completely vulnerable. It is beautiful to be vulnerable, to let God take care of the universe for you.
5. Embrace your sleepy side: Block your night time for sleep. You don't need to overachieve every minute of your life. It is ok to be lazy, sleepy and tired at night. Let it go any performance races you have set yourself for. Unschedule your life to let your body rest at the end of the day.
6. Keep the traitors at bay: Transform your bedroom into a sleeping sanctuary. Leave anything that does not help your sleep outside the door. Hang heavy curtains to block outside light, keep all electronics away, place a sound machine if there noise coming from the outside, invest in eye masks or ear plugs. Love the pillow you spend 8 hours facing, use cotton sheets and pajamas that let your skin breath. Welcome the luxuries; this is an overnight flight to tomorrow, so why not fly first class?

 7. Is it worth the chase? If you don't believe sleep is your friend, you won't harvest its benefits. A good night of sleep may add years to your life, besides improving the quality of your days. You were not created to live 17 hours of sunlight a day. Embrace your sleep life, it is in your DNA. 
8. Sleepy ever after: Imagine yourself nicely cuddled in your bed, as the stars shine in the sky. Not everybody can sleep all night, every night. This is a privilege not all have. Be thankful for the gift of sleep, it is yours to enjoy. Even for busy moms. 

9. Lead by example: Your kids are watching you. How do you value sleep? How do you use your evening time to prepare for sleep? The time you go to bed, how long you sleep and what time you wake up may shape your kids sleeping habits during adolescence. Research shows that adolescent sleep is deeply connected to the sleep habits of their parents, more than anything related to their changing biology. Teach your kids good sleep habits by example. 

What are your tips for getting a great night of sleep?

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