“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.” Leonardo da Vinci
It can be difficult to wake refreshed when we feel out of control of our destiny. So much of our psyche is reeling with the effects of the pandemic, not to mention other events that happen in people’s lives that are troubling. The not knowing tends to creep up on us, trying to steal our peace. We need to be vigilant, as exhausting as that is. Do we want one more thing to deal with? No, and yet if we don’t pay attention, the effects of living in these uncertain times will have their way with us. Focus. Be present with what is, what comes up.
If you’ve been dealing with life and it’s hard, harder than you’ve ever known, notice this and be gentler with yourself. Sleep is the great equalizer. Look at sleep as having the same positive impact on you as if you’re going out with friends-it’s restorative, can make you happy, and can make it ok for you to be by yourself. Sleep is huge, especially now. Take advantage of sleep’s many benefits. Indulge yourself, just not too much.
The sales of mints have declined since Covid. People aren’t going out and socializing as much and are not so worried about their breath smelling fresh. On the other hand, chocolate bars are a hot commodity. People want to treat themselves with something that is soothing. Chocolate also has heart health benefits. So does sleep and it doesn’t have any calories!
Sleeping well. What does this phrase mean, exactly?
~ Are you able to fall asleep within 15 minutes of turning off the light?
~ Can you sleep through the night, going back to sleep easily if you have to get up to use the bathroom?
~ Are you alert through your day and able to focus on the tasks at hand?
~ If the answers are yes, you’re probably getting enough sleep. There is no hard and fast rule about the required number of hours to sleep.
~ The range for 26-64-year-olds is 5-9 hours, with 6-7 as the sweet spot.
~ Prepare. A critical component of restful sleep is preparation.
~ Move. Getting sufficient exercise is one key way to get ready. When the body is tired, sleep comes easily.
~ Eat healthy foods, not too late. Imagine your stomach digesting a mostly plant-based meal versus one filled with fried foods. Make it easy on the body, be gentle and sleep well.
~ Prepare your bedroom. Keep it cool and uncluttered. Wear earplugs when the two-legged, four-legged, and winged neighbors are loud. Choose the best pillow and mattress depending on your sleep habits.
~ Chill. Use calming essential oil blends (recipes in A RAY of Wellness FB group) to help slow your heart rate. Allow a dream pillow to help you delve deeply into your dream state. Write down your worries and/or a to-do list before bed. Take a few minutes at day’s beginning to jot down 3 things that you’re grateful for.
~Consistency. Wake up and go to bed at the same time at least 5 days/week. Eat meals in the same pattern daily. This sets out body up for routine.
~ Benefits. All of these amazing body boosts happen while we’re catching 40 winks: your blood pressure lowers, energy is restored, positive hormones are released, breathing slows, muscles relax, tissues repair, the brain is rebooted.
~Nap or not. Only for 20 minutes. Any more than this and you risk getting a solid night sleep. Set an alarm. Drink energizing tea (recipes in A RAY of Wellness FB group) and you may not need a nap. Drink a calming cup of chamomile tea with dinner to set the stage for a relaxing evening.
~ Disconnect. Turn off screens 1-2 hours before sleeping. Don’t let the blue light from your electronics keep you charged as bedtime approaches. The National Sleep Foundation cited that 95% of Americans use an electronic device (cell phone, computer, video game) an hour before bed at least 3 times a week.
~ Pay attention to how you feel if you get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. You deserve to feel rested. Your friends and loved ones will thank you for it. Be a sleep-role-model. Create clean sleep hygiene and others may follow your lead.
~ For recipes associated with the aforementioned essential oils and teas, join my A RAY of Wellness Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/ARAYofWellnessGroup/?source_id=532370877266699
~ How’s your resiliency? Look for information on my upcoming 3-day Live Challenge on 3 Keys to Be Calm in These Scary and Uncertain Times on August 18-20 at Noon MDT/2 pm EDT. The training will be in my A RAY of Wellness FB group!
Owner+Founder ARAY Wellness Coaching
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