Tools and Tips for Regenerative Restful Sleep
When we were children, we could sleep anywhere. Even staying asleep while we were carried by an adult to bed. So, it seems that we should still be able to fall asleep and stay asleep as easily now as we could when we then. For many of us that isn’t the case. But, what if by preparing just a bit for sleep, we could dramatically improve our sleep?
I struggled for years getting enough quality sleep and researched what aids in achieving quality sleep. In this guide, I’ve put together the information I’ve gathered including tips I discovered which are not listed anywhere else. By using some or even all the steps listed here, you can greatly improve the amount and quality of your sleep.
What Beliefs do you have about sleep?
Our beliefs create our reality, our lives, and are one of, if not, the most important factors in how restful and rejuvenating our sleep is.
We’ve been told that 8 hours of sleep is required for us to be rested and healthy. Your ideal amount of sleep is most likely not 8 hours but probably somewhere between 6.5-9.5 hours and even that amount can fluctuate day to day.
Do you wake in the middle of the night or take a long time to fall asleep? Several studies have shown that people who consider themselves insomniacs often just get about one hour less of sleep at night than those who think they slept well. Another study showed that people that napped for 30 minutes and slept were just as rested as those who rested quietly for the same amount of time and didn’t sleep. So even if you wake during the night, as long as you just rest quietly and don’t stress about not being asleep, your rest can be almost as regenerating or even as regenerating as being asleep for the whole time.
- Do not pre-decide that you will be tired in the morning before you go to bed or if you wake up in the middle of the night and look at the clock. Even if you are going to get less sleep than you normally think you need, it is not a certainty that you will be tired in the morning. For example, you might remember a time that you were so excited for something you were going to do during the day that even though you didn’t get much sleep the night before you felt wide awake and full of energy.
- Don’t decide or say you are tired when you first wake up. Almost everyone would say they were tired when they first wake up, especially if it was from an alarm. Instead wait at least 20 minutes before deciding if you are tired or not. Wait until after your shower, after your tea or coffee before you scan to see if you are tired. Even better is never decide and say that you are tired, but if you really do feel tired, change the words from “I’m tired” to “I feel groggy,” as feeling groggy can be changed with caffeine, a shower, exercise and other ways too. But being tired can only be changed with more sleep.
- While most people don’t like it, it is best to have a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even on the weekends can really help. If you feel you need to sleep late on the weekends, try to wake up within an hour of your normal time.
- What is your natural wake/sleep time? Are you a night owl or morning person? How could you adjust your sleeping schedule to account for these preferences? Might you shift your wake/sleep time by one hour to work more in harmony with your body?
Prepare your bedroom as a sleeping space.
- Define your sleeping space as a sovereign and nurturing place. Remove any items that you don’t give you a good thoughts, feelings as well as any that bring up strong emotions or energies.
- If you can, only use your bedroom for sleeping. This creates an association with sleep. If not, establish a sleeping routine in your bedroom before hitting the sheets (straighten up the room, cover mirrors, put away work, etc.)
- Cover computer monitors, television screens, mirrors and energetic paintings aids in sleep as they transmit and reflect energies making it harder to rest. Cover any unfinished projects, exercise equipment, items requiring attention.
- Move, position or cover clocks so they cannot be seen from your bed. As you can be tempted to look at the clock and then judge if you have enough time to sleep well. It is almost never a contribution to look at the time in the middle of the night.
- Remove any ticking clocks as these connect you to synthetic time and rhythms, preventing your body’s natural sleeping rhythms.
- Remove clutter, disorganized items, and remove items from under your bed. If you can’t remove such items from under your bed organize them neatly.
- Keep a journal near your bed and write down what you remember you need to do tomorrow. Otherwise those thoughts can keep you awake as you don’t want to forget them.
- Studies have shown that if there is any light in the room, that light can mess with your melatonin production and your sleep. Use blackout curtains to prevent outside light. Turn off all lights, and/or use very low light night lights.
- Is your bed too hard, too soft, too old? Would a padded topper help? Or might it be time for a new bed?
- Washing bed pads and then vacuuming your mattress refreshes them.
- Is your bed orientation helping or hurting your sleep? Do you feel comfortable and safe when in bed? Adjusting the bed so that you can see the door often improves feeling safe and secure. Having a bed with you head directly under and against an opening window can also feel uncomfortable. Having a solid headboard can help in this situation.
What to do before bed.
- Exercise during the day and not too close to bed time (2 or more hours) for that can help your body prepare for sleep.
- Is what you are eating and drinking affecting the quality of your sleep?
- Too large of meal keeps your body (digestion) working at night and can make for poor sleep. Though a meal with protein including healthy fats about 3 hours before bed can aid in sleep.
- Too much sugar or carbohydrates in the evening. When our bodies burn through these sugars it can cause a sugar crash when then causes our body to wake in the middle of the night.
- Having a small amount of protein before bed (1-2 Tsp of almond butter for example) can prevent your body running out of fuel at night and having this sugar crash.
- Caffeine or chocolate (chocolate doesn’t have caffeine, but a substance like caffeine which affects some people more and some less than caffeine.
- Alcohol at first has a depressant effect (making you tired) and then between 3-5 hours your system rebounds and becomes more awake. So that glass of wine at dinner that relaxes you and start you feeling sleepy, might be keeping you awake at night, wake in the middle of the night, or might cause you to sleep less soundly.
- Vitamins and supplements. Many are energizing, try taking them earlier in the day.
- Many prescription drugs have sleep side effects.
- Even drugs designed to induce sleep, often don’t allow deep or restful sleep.
- Don’t spend too much time on the couch or resting after dinner. We often get tired after a day of work and meal, but if we rest too much before bed we can recover and even be energized just as our natural bedtime comes. Limit or avoid watching emotional or energetic programs or movies before bed. If you do, watch or read something lighthearted to dissipate these emotions as strong emotions can slow sleep.
- Do not watch or at least reduce the amount of time watching tv or being on your phone, computer or tablet while in bed.
- Avoid social media or email, since if you see something disturbing or urgent your mind will focus on that instead of resting.
- Let go of thoughts that you can always pick them up in the morning. You can also write them in the journal, so you don’t forget.
- Having a glass of water glass by your bed can help quench thirst during the night so you don’t have to get up.
Establish a pre-bedtime ritual.
- You might be too tired to brush your teeth, so you stay watching tv later: perform these activities an hour before bed, since such tasks can wake you up too.
- Bright lights reduce our melatonin production and keep us awake longer than we naturally would.
- Turn off and/or dim lights at night to help prepare for sleep.
- LED lights, Florescent lights, computer screens, tv, and cell phones have more “blue light” which is the bright white light most present in sunlight, and those can wake us up and prevent sleep much more than incandescent (old style lights).
- To remove or reduce this blue-light use programs like, f.lux or night shift, night light or even built in options to reduce the blue light at night on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.
- Change the brightness setting for TVs at night – Most have brightness or vivid settings, which can be changed to softer settings. Often the default factory setting is the brightest setting. Changing this setting can also reduce eye strain during the daytime.
- Note: Exposure to bright lights, especially sunlight during the day (morning) aids sleep.
- Using a bright light therapy or LED full spectrum light for 10-30 minutes upon waking (or early morning) can greatly aid sleep especially in darker climates.
- Studies have shown that if there is any light that light can mess with your melatonin production and your sleep. Use blackout curtains to prevent outside light. Turn off all lights, and or use very low light night lights.
- Sounds disturb our sleep – use a fan or white noise generator to soften noises that occur at night.
- Sounds -Turn off heaters at night if the fan coming on is enough for you to notice. If you need the heat (or AC) to come on, offset this noise by setting the fan to continually run.
- In a closed room you can use up the oxygen faster than it can be replaced which increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the room. Sleeping with the door open, using a fan, and or open a window brings fresh and oxygenated air into the room. Note: some officials recommend sleeping with the door closed in the case of a house fire.
- Temperature is a big factor in sleep. What temp is best for your body. Most people prefer 70 degrees but not below 65 or cooler.
- Our bodies core temperature drops as we are falling asleep. To aid in this temperature drop, take a hot bath or shower up to 1 hour before bed. Our bodies then shed this excess heat and the temperature drop sets us for sleep. Surprisingly the opposite of a cool or cold bath or shower, pulls heat out of the body and works to aid in sleep the same way.
- Is your body warm enough to sleep? In the winter we may have to heat up the bed with our body heat before we are comfortable enough to fall asleep. Use microwaveable heating pads/bean bags or hot water bottles.
- Heavy blankets included weighted blankets can help some people.
- Electric blankets have electrical fields that can mess with our sleep: best not to use them. If you must, pre heat the bed before you get in and then turn the electric blanket off while you sleep.
- Turn off Wi-Fi at night and/or remove routers from your bedroom and place them as far away as possible. The health impact of Wi-Fi on our bodies has been debated, though even just some impact on the body is enough to warrant thoughtful placement.
- Cell phones, wireless land line phones, alarm systems, baby monitors also broadcast on these frequencies.
- Electrical wires and cords do this as well so try to route electrical wires away from your bed and or at least at a 90-degree angle to your sleeping position.
- Place your cell phone away from your bed. If you must have it by your bed, turn on airplane mode, or the next best action is to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Drinks, Vitamins and Medicines
- Being fully hydrated enough during the day aids sleep.
- Caffeine or chocolate (chocolate doesn’t actually have caffeine, but a substance similar to caffeine)
- Alcohol at first has a depressant effect (makes you tired) then between 3-5 hours your system rebounds and becomes more awake. So that glass of wine at dinner which relaxes you and may make you sleepy, might be keeping you awake at night, or causing you to sleep less soundly.
- Limit water intake in the 1-2 hours before bed to avoid waking up to use the bathroom.
- Many prescription drugs or over the counter ones– even ones designed for sleep don’t allow restful deep sleep.
- Certain vitamins such as B12 can energize the body. Try to take vitamins earlier in the day.
- Being deficient in certain vitamins and minerals can reduce quality sleep.
- Magnesium L-Threonate can be conducive to sleep.
- Some potential natural sleep aids, though it is best to only use them occasionally. If you feel you need to use them constantly for a few days or few weeks, your body can remember their effect and then can create more of the sleep hormones naturally, so you often can stop their use.
- Melatonin – timed release is the most affective.
- Start with the smallest dose, to avoid feeling groggy in the morning.
- L-Tryptophan which is a precursor to aiding your body in creating Melatonin.
- Melatonin – timed release is the most affective.
Highly Sensitive and Very Energetically Aware People
If you are a highly sensitive person or very energetically aware person, your awarenesses could be making restful sleep even more difficult for you. If so, there are some energetic steps you can take that can greatly improve your sleep as well.
I’ve put all these energetic steps and clearings in one place on an audio. Listen to the recording during the day and then can play it softy at night. This forty minute energetic clearing audio helps remove the emotions, energetic connections, and other energies that mess with our sleep.
It is available here Promoting Restful and Rejuvenating Sleep and it is also what I use nightly to aid in my sleep.
Using the information above is the best way I’ve found to improve the quality of our sleep.
In addition, some people may also have medical conditions that mess with sleep. If you’ve tried the steps above and haven’t seen improvement, some professional guidance might be helpful.
If there are some other tips I’ve missed that you think should be included, please let me know.
This is should be a prospective customer’s number one call to action, e.g., requesting a quote or perusing your product catalog.