Day 20 – sleep – Opportyounity Advent Calendar
We all know sleep is important for our all round health. According to a study on 9000 Participants, 6-8 hours seems to be the optimal resting time. More than an hour less or an hour beyond this, can lead you feeling hungover. During your sleep your body heals itself and your mind works through all the experiences of the day. With the right amount of sleep you wake up rested, more alert, less emotionally tense and it will even help you improve your weight.
So if we know that sleep can do all of this for us, how come it has been cut short in so many of our lives and how can we improve it?
The causes for sleep problems can run quite deep, so Im not going to pretend that one solution fits all. This topic is actually quite the opposite. But I would like to mention a few things that might help you:
- Regular exercise – exhausting our bodies (in a good way) will help us relax at night.
- Eating a light dinner
- Breath: Alternate nostril breathing in the morning and 4-7-8 (4 inhale, 7 hold, 8 exhale – repeat) in bed at night
- Lavender essential oil: 1-2 drops on a limestone or tissue next to your bed
- no screens 30-60 min before bedtime
- a relaxing sleep meditation can help you fall asleep
- keeping a pen and paper next to your bed releases the stress of forgetting something the next day.
- Taking a warm bath before going to bed
- Keep your bedroom cool (ideally 18 degrees Celsius)
- if you suffer from depression or anxiety, a heavy blanket can help you sooth you.
- Visualise the colour blue while breathing 4-7-8
- How and when you wake up, changes how you start your day. I invested in a “Wake up light alarm clock” a few years ago and Im really in love with it. It mimics the rising sun and natural wakes me up in one of the “light sleep” stages, making me feel more rested.
These are absolute basics but not to be disregarded. Incorporating a few of these tricks can help you improve your sleep, health and wellbeing.