While as humans we may be designed to easily switch off and slumber from dusk til dawn, modern day life makes that a little more complicated. Sleep for many women these days can feel like a distant memory, something that they may dip in and out of each evening but fail to really gain those beneficial qualities that deep sleep offers.
Functioning on little sleep or poor sleep is incredibly challenging to say the least. Anyone with small children will know that those early years can feel like a tumultuous daydream whereby days slip into weeks in much of a Groundhog Day existence!
Studies show that less than 10% of women report to have excellent sleep on a consistent basis. Furthermore, studies demonstrate that operating on less than 6 hours sleep is the same as functioning with a hangover. It’s no wonder that daily life can feel like a struggle!
Let’s dive in.
7 Simple hacks for better sleep
Sleep hack #1- Manage screen time
Experts agree that for a good nights sleep you should avoid using screens at least 2 hours prior to bedtime. Not only do the blue lights of technology screens affect our natural circadian rhythms, the screen time also keeps us mentally alert and active. Have you ever thought you would just ‘wind down’ in bed with your phone before sleep, only to realise you’re still scrolling a couple of hours later? Try and get into good habits with your screens and switch them off or at the very least, install simple technology that limits the blue rays – you can wear blue light blocker glasses, or download an app such as Flux.
Sleep hack #2- Switch to decaf
If you’re someone who reaches for a coffee during that 3pm slump, maybe it’s time to rethink your choices! If you can handle a morning coffee, go for it, but caffeine after noon has been shown to affect sleep patterns and can set you up for a wide-eyed night ahead. Coffee may give you that quick energy and mental burst you’ve been seeking, but it doesn’t last all that long. Studies show that when you’re feeling an afternoon slump, there are other simple things that are far more effective than a coffee- a big glass of water, a piece of fruit, a 10 minute meditation, a quick walk in nature, stretching, breath work- all of these tend of have the ability to increase energy levels and mental ability, as well as keep you calm and focused.
Sleep hack #3- Create a sleep sanctuary
Is your bedroom a culmination of work space, lounge space, storage space and more?! Is there laundry to fold, empty tea cups that haven’t made their way to the sink, to-do lists and bills floating around?! Your bedroom should be a place with zero clutter and a place where you feel relaxed as soon as you enter the room. Do your best to keep your bedroom clear of debris and anything unnecessary. Invest in a comfortable mattress, in good pillows and in blinds that block out any external lights outside. Creating the perfect space for you to sleep goes a long way in getting your body primed for slumber.
Sleep hack #4- Create a bedtime routine
Remember as a child you had a bedtime routine? Maybe pj’s, teeth brushed and a bedtime story?! Try and recreate a routine that gets you ready for bed each night. Play some relaxing music, take a hot bath, do a yoga Nidra meditation, read a book, have a herbal tea. There are lots of enjoyable ways you can wind down in the evenings and prepare your mind and body for a deep rest. See what works best for you and try to factor at least one calming new habit into your evening routine.
Sleep hack #5- Create a morning routine
Whilst this may sound a little odd for a sleep hack, the way we start our day also impacts the way we end our day. The night before you go to bed, start to prepare for the morning- if you plan to exercise, lay out your clothes all ready to go. If you are short on time in the mornings, perhaps prep your breakfast, fill the kettle, get everything you need for the day in one place. Set your alarm for a time that gives you adequate rest and still ample time to rise and prepare for the day. If you don’t have artificial light out your windows, you may like to leave your blinds open so you wake with the rising sun. Do what you can to make rising the next day easy and effortless. When you start your day well, this positivity is more likely to flow throughout your day and help you to make good healthy choices for yourself.
Sleep hack #6- Tech support
There are lots of devices and apps these days that can help you to track your sleep. Just like many things in life, it can be hard to create positive change when you’re just stabbing in the dark to fix an issue you feel powerless against. When you start to track your sleep cycles, you can begin to see patterns in your sleep. With some gentle investigative work, you can start to see what may be affecting your sleep- that afternoon coffee, that Netflix binge, a big dinner out, scrolling through social media etc. The apps will offer you advice, tips and feedback that can support you to hack your sleep for the best slumber possible.
Sleep hack #7- Journal
One thing that keeps us awake at night the most is stress or unprocessed emotions. Have you ever laid awake at night going over an argument you’ve had that day or a work project you have due tomorrow? Try and journal any lingering emotions or things causing you concern before bed. Do a to-do list the night before so that you can allow your brain to rest and not try and hold onto anything that you don’t want to forget the next day. Journal how you’re feeling, anything you need to let go of, and anything inspirational that you wish to focus on. Try and empty out the mind before you sleep so that you can drift off with ease.
Ready for a week of peaceful slumber and creating healthier bedtime routines?! Join us for a rejuvenating Bali Retreat. You can find out more about our Bali retreat packages here and our dates and rates here. Retreats run every week of the year and you can check in anytime.
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