Is Sleep Management something that you struggle with? Do you have night-time activities that you incorporate to help you prioritize your sleep?
We all know that eight hours of sleep is way better than four or five hours and produces more energy. However, we think we are being productive by working ourselves to the bone; burnt out working on 50 million things without going to bed at a designated time to get the sleep and rest our bodies and minds desperately need to be more effective and productive for ourselves and others.
People who know me in my professional career may think that I have it all together, but the truth is I struggle with sleep management, and getting the adequate rest my mind and body need to be focused and more productive.
As an ambitious busy professional in the military and now as a retired Army Veteran, Contractor and Entrepreneur, I have struggled in this area throughout my life. On top of that, as women, we have other life responsibilities of taking care of our family, serving in the community, and giving our best to everyone else that it can become extremely overwhelming to the point that you do not get the proper rest and sleep you need which is essential to your overall Health and Wellness.
Here are six (6) tips to help you with sleep management so you can get the rest you need:
1. Evaluate what you spend your Energy on during the day.
Evaluate and identify what people, things, habits, or behaviors that you focus on and invest your energy on throughout the day to determine what adds or subtracts value to your life. Then determine what you can re-allocate, reduce, or eliminate from your day so you can prioritize your time to add more sleep which in turn will boost your energy levels and improve your overall health and wellness.
2. Schedule a regular bedtime for uninterrupted quality sleep.
This means that you must make time to unplug from everything and designated a regular bedtime that allows you to get uninterrupted restful sleep. If you wake up throughout the night or wake up in the morning restless and lack energy, then you need to adjust your bedtime to get the adequate amount of restful quality sleep that your body and mind need.
3. Establish a bedtime routine.
If you toss and turn at night worrying about what you must do the next day, establishing a bedtime routine will help you to organize and prepare for the next day. Things you can do is:
Journal: Create and prioritize a Success List - Things you need to do to make your day Successful.
Plan for the next day: Lay out your clothes, prep your breakfast, pack your breakfast/lunch, etc.
Self-care: Take a warm shower or nice relaxing bath, use aromatherapy, listen to relaxing music.
4. Unplug and Unwind.
Unplug and avoid technology at least 30 – 60 minutes before bed. This means NO electronic “blue lights” i.e., unplug from your smartphone, tablets, computers, and TV!
I know this is a hard one to do but there are numerous health benefits to executing this tip alone. Other relaxing things that you can add to your bedtime routine to help you unwind and sleep better include:
Meditation/Stillness: Quieting your mind, body, and soul through mediation and stillness is extremely beneficial to your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. Taking at least 15-20 minutes to practice mediation, breathwork, or just sit in stillness helps you to get in the right frame of mind and reduces anxiety so you can have quality sleep.
Journal: Again, journaling is also good to reduce the stress of worrying by helping you reflect and organize your thoughts on paper before you go to sleep.
Read: When you read a good book before bed, it helps to take your mind somewhere else instead of thinking or worrying about what you should have done or what the next day will bring. It also helps to reduce stress, improves creativity, and boosts your brainpower and concentration.
Stretch: Incorporating a stretching routine before bed helps to relieve stress and muscle tension. It also increases your flexibility, mobility, and stability to prevent injuries as you grow older.
5. Avoid Eating/Drinking Late.
Generally, most experts suggest that you don’t eat or consume caffeine or alcohol at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed because it better supports our circadian rhythms (internal clock) so that our mind and body slow down at night and we get the adequate amount of rest needed to be more alert during the day.
6. Stay Cool.
Always try to keep your bedroom cool and use bedding as well as wear loose-fitting pajamas that are moisture-wicking to help with hot flashes and night sweats. You'll definitely feel the difference in your sleep quality.
Trust me if you implement the above tips, you will definitely enjoy the benefits that a good night's sleep provides for your overall health and wellness.