Having trouble sleeping, feeling unrefreshed?
Try some of these healthy sleeping habits.
Please speak to your practitioner about your sleeping challenges and we will be able to work with you to create some goals.
Routine – Its important to have a regular, healthy sleeping routine that includes the following. We all have sleeping cues/routines that are formed early on which help us to achieve sleep. The more you create your habits around the following activities the higher quality of sleep you will be able to achieve.
Posture – your sleeping posture is so important. Replace your mattress after 7yr of age and make sure you use one pillow which supports the natural curves and alignment of your spine. Regularly rotate and flip your bed (if possible) every three months. If sleeping on back you can place a pillow underneath knees and if on your side then place a pillow between you legs to support your low back.
Timing – Our body clocks are set with going to bed with the setting and rising of the sun. That is not possible for most people, however the earlier you go to bed the better your sleep. An hour before 12pm is equivalent to 2 hours after 12pm. Ideally we need 6-8hrs/night of good quality sleep (no waking or tossing and turning).
Setting the mood – It will be impossible for you to get to sleep if your mind is still switched on. Remove anything from you bedroom that emits unnatural light and connects you to the external world (phone/TV/laptop etc). Make sure that the only thing your bedroom is used for is sleeping and lovemaking J A hot bath, banana (potassium), warm water/herbal tea, reading a fiction book (do not fire your brain up with work books) are some things that can help.
Waking up – Be gentle with yourself when you wake up. Jumping out of bed and switching the light on jolts your system. Set some nice music to wake you up, do your stretches and roll onto your side to get out of bed. Take some time to set your intentions for the day. How you start your day will set the mood for the rest of the day.
You are what you eat – Your body will only perform as well as you treat it! We cannot emphasise this enough. Make sure you are well hydrated throughout the day and eat foods that will nourish your body. To stay hydrated we need to drink at least 1 glass of water for every 10kg of body weight, plus 750ml for every 30min of exercise. If you are in a heated/cooled environment (air-conditioning) you need to drink more. If you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. Our body works harder if we do not eat foods that are easy for it to digest. Making sure your diet mainly consists of fresh and raw when possible will help digestion. This includes: green leafy vegetables, fruit, nuts and whole grains (ie. Quinoa, brown rice, lentils etc).
Exercise – As human animals, our bodies are designed to walk miles per day, climb and forage. Therefore daily routines such as sitting at a computer or in a car all day will significantly reduce your quality of sleep. Make sure you increase your heart rate at least 3-4x/wk with exercise that makes you sweat. Swimming, cycling, running, tennis, football, martial arts, gym…whatever you like! The more fun and sociable the activity, the more likely this will become a healthy habit for you.
Meditate – We know how important exercise is for your body, however we neglect the mind. How many thoughts does your mind have per day? We are constantly problem solving and live in a very high paced, stressful world. Meditation is like taking the garbage out and clearing out your subconscious, so you can have more clarity, focus and a greater sense of wellbeing. Take control of your mind, don’t let your mind control you! Anywhere from 5-60 minutes of meditation a day is wonderful. The true benefit is felt with daily practice and we encourage you to build it into your routine. The best time to meditate is first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Meditation made easy
- Find a quiet comfortable space where you will not be disturbed
- Sit with your legs crossed, if this is uncomfortable you can sit in a chair with your feet on the ground.
- Place a blanket underneath your tailbone to keep your spine straight if needed
- Pretend like a string is pulling your spine straight, lightly tuck the chin in to elongate the back of your neck
- Either rest your hands on your knees or in your lap. You can also use Gyan Mudra, touching the tips of your index fingers to your thumbs (this activates meridian lines – energy pathways, in your body, to enhance the effects of the meditation)
- Commence long deep breathing – breathe into your belly and all the way into your chest, then fully exhale in the reverse direction. Expand your ribcage in all directions. Your breathing should be equal. Try 5 counts in and 5 counts out. Ultimately you can build up to the 1 minute breath.
- Focus your concentration on your third eye (the spot inbetween your eyebrows)
Your mind will wander, that is normal, just bring your attention back to your breathing and keep your focus at the third eye.