Whenever we’re feeling sick or drained, or our skin just doesn’t have the glow it used to, everyone gives the same advice—drink more water and get more sleep. It’s so simple, and yet, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 3 adults report that they aren’t getting enough sleep. This is not a small problem considering that a lack of sleep is associated with chronic health problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, increased risk for strokes and stress. Why then, when we know what we should be doing for our health and well-being, is getting a full night’s sleep still so hard to do?
Between our responsibilities, home life and having got up in time for work, the priority we place on sleep loses value amongst the clutter. Just as prevalent, are the things that clutter our mind and keep us from shutting off after we’ve closed our eyes and resigned for the night. These things—memories, to-do lists, unanswered questions and that song you can’t get out of your head—are the most difficult to combat. Especially when it feels you’ve done all the work to get to bed on time, and now your brain is the only thing standing between you and your recommended 7 hours of Z’s. Fight those late night tailspins and get the sleep you need with these easy steps to better rest and overall health.
Humans like rewards. And after getting through another long day at work, a sugary snack before bed can seem like the perfect treat. Later, when your head is on your pillow, but you’re still wide away, the illusion of the perfect treat is dashed. This is due to how the snack alters your blood sugar levels. Avoiding sugar and caffeine before bed doesn’t mean you have to go to bed hungry. Foods that are high in protein or fat, like tuna, avocados, almonds, eggs or bananas, are healthy alternatives that will actually help you to feel more tired and ready for bed. Practice intentional eating and you’ll see results!
Hard as it may be to detach from those beloved devices, cell phones and computers should be turned off 30 minutes before trying to fall asleep. Getting into the habit of placing your phone out of arms reach prior to slipping into bed will help you to resist the urge to check your phone. Further, resist that almost primal phone checking desire by turning it off completely at night. If you can’t hear it buzz, you can’t lay awake wondering who texted you or what was posted. This will help you to relax in your room free from the outside world. Even the blue glow emitted from computers and phones is said to lessen the quality and depth of your sleep, so removing as many electronic devices from the bedroom as possible is the best way to strip down for an easy night’s sleep.
Any pre-bed ritual will help signal to your body that you’re getting ready for sleep. Reading in bed is one common way that people wind down their day. While this a helpful technique, adding a meditation can both facilitate sleep and reduce the stress and anxieties that tend to flood the mind in the quiet moments before sleep. Use this meditation as a time to let go. Find a quiet, comfortable room in your home. Sitting on the floor, focus on your breath. As it flows in, picture the forgiveness for all your mistakes coming in with it. And as it flows out, imagine your grudges and toxic energy leaving as well.
You can amplify this and prepare your mind for restful sleep by meditating with crystals, like Amethyst, Clear Quartz, Celestite, and Selenite – all wonderful crystals for sleep. These crystals to help you sleep are known for their powerful ability to cleanse the mind and spirit. As you allow them to breathe tranquility into your mind space, program your crystals for sleep with the intention achieve a deep, rejuvenating sleep. If you need something a little more intense to help you get to sleep, selenite and shungite are wonderful healing crystals for insomnia. The shungite works to neutralize the energy of your space while selenite emits soothing vibes all night long.
Sometimes trying to fall asleep can make us feel like Goldilocks. We toss and turn in bed, going from too cold and too hot and never quite finding just right. The temperature of your room can be the difference between a comfortable night, and one spent going in and out of sleep. A cool room is best for achieving sleep. Who doesn’t love cuddling up in a warm bed full of blankets on a cold night? Wearing socks in addition to the blankets helps to regulate the body’s temperature. For those who get cold feet in bed, socks are the perfect tool to get cozy, comfortable and fall asleep faster. Making sure that your room is dark enough for sleep is another way to establish ease of mind. Use room-darkening shades to block out light from the street. A dark, quiet and cool bedroom is the cave sweet dreams and sleep-filled nights are made of. Place crystals for sleep, such as an Amethyst stone or selenite crystal, underneath your pillow, to fill your mind with calming, positive thoughts as you sleep.