Sleep is so important. I mean, of course, it is. I hear people all the time in both the chronic illness community and not talk about their lack of sleep. Personally, I sleep like a baby. That doesn’t come without a lot of work though. I had to create a pattern for good sleep hygiene. Since this is something everyone needs, I thought I would create a guide so you can create your own routine. That way we can all get a good night’s rest to start our days off right!
- Stop Using Your Phone
Now, I’m not going to tell you to stop using your phone in bed. For me, That’s not realistic. I enjoy winding down before bed and that often involves Youtube or Instagram. I will say it’s important to stop using your phone thirty minutes before bed. Give your eyes a rest. I bet you’re thinking, do I lay in bed for thirty minutes before falling asleep? No. Here’s what you do:
- Find a Relaxing Activity
Find an activity that is quiet but uses your mind. It will help to exhaust you before you go to bed. For me this is reading but it could be journaling or a crossword puzzle. Something that will make your brain want to turn off. I try to set time limits on each step so my body can adapt and get used to a specific routine, like a baby.
- Relax Your Body
We hold so much tension in our body during the day. It’s important to release that before going to bed. Otherwise, it can prevent us from sleeping well and we carry it into the next day. I use meditation to relax my body. It could be putting on a specific lotion or stretching. Anything that you enjoy doing that gets tension out and relaxes the muscles. I also enjoy using essential oils to help ease my body into relaxation. I often diffuse lavender or “chill pill” as mine is called. It’s a blend of oils that is used to calm the mind organically.
I choose to reflect in the form of gratitude journaling. This is useful for me because I can acknowledge all of the good that has taken place. This period may have already happened if you chose to journal as your activity. Otherwise, it can be rewinding the day in your head. I like to write things down, as humans we process things better that way. It has to be what works for you.
I fall asleep with a guided meditation. I like this because I enjoy focusing on something when I go to sleep but it isn’t Netflix or a screen. It shuts off after an hour and eases me into the sleeping process. I usually use the same one every night. If I start to have trouble falling asleep, I change the meditation. If that doesn’t work, I troubleshoot my routine. I would highly recommend sleep meditations. I know that calm, Insight Timer, and other meditation apps all have options for sleep. Try a couple out. It may be that you sleep best in silence.
Keep in mind that these changes take time. As with any routine change, take it slowly. Try one step at a time. Doing it all at once will likely lead to less success. You may have to try a variety of different formulas to get the desired result. Do what works for you!