How much of your happier, more productive days hinge on the night before? All of them, it seems. Emma-Charlotte Bangay shares ten of the top positive flow on tips to try tonight.
Fabrics are really important for optimal sleep and wake patterns, explains Natalija Bouropoulos, founder of Natalija the Label, a loungewear label made from 100% silk de chine. “Some synthetics heat up which plays havoc with your natural body temperature and can in turn disrupt sleep patterns,” she explains. “This is why I’ve made a conscious decision to focus on silk sleepwear because it allows our body to breathe, it’s hypoallergenic and it’s cool in summer and warm in winter.”
Natural wake/sleep patterns are the most natural thing our body can respond positively to, explains Tyler Tolman, Natural health and Lifestyle Expert. “If you have ever been camping you will find that when it gets dark we start to get tired and then go to sleep.” But these days, there are so many artificial lights and stimulating technologies that we push through this natural cycle and suffer from adrenal fatigue, insomnia and many other forms of imbalance, he notes. Try and dim lights a few hours before bedtime and have a definite curfew for computers and technology.
Bathe Before Bedtime
Warm baths are a great way to debrief the body, mind and spirit after a stressful day. Choose calming oils to add to your bath such as Frankincense, Lavender and Myrrh.
Calming the nervous system in the evening will ensure that you don’t wake up stressed before you even throw the sheets off. “Swap that glass of red for a chamomile tea,” suggests Natalija. “Although alcohol can lull you into a state of relaxation, the knock on effects the next day are not great, and the quality of sleep you get after consuming alcohol is poor.” Chamomile Tea is known for its sedative effects, but if you cant stomach something warm, try a glass of milk instead. “I often have a glass of almond milk before bed to calm the digestive system,” Natalija adds.
Exercise Your Breath
Shut eye is not as easy as it sounds. You also need to slow the heart rate and circulation, Tyler points out. To do so, try this breathing exercise: Breathe in for four seconds, hold for seven seconds and breathe out for eight seconds. “Do this seven times just before sleeping to put you on the edge of the dream world.” If it doesn’t work the first time, be patient, as becoming anxious about sleeping can only exacerbate problems like insomnia.
Stretch It Out
You wouldn’t think twice about firing up your brain by checking your emails and messages whilst your head is still on the pillow so do the same for your body. Wake it up, bit by bit with some simple stretches, before setting foot on that cold morning floor! “Look at what the animals do! Tyler notes.
Wake With The Sun (Sometimes)
“One to two times per week, if possible, watch the sunrise as it resets our internal clock and then the body and mind connection knows which rhythms to follow,” explains Tyler. By doing this, your body is naturally alert when it needs to be and resting when it needs to be, so stress levels are more balanced day to day.
Wake Up, Work Out
By getting a good night sleep, you are more inclined to be motivated to exercise in the morning. If this is a possibility within your home dynamic, embrace it as often as possible. “The benefits are cyclic,” Natalija notes. “If you have a good nights sleep, you’ll feel more positive and energized in the morning. If you then exercise, you are more inclined to sleep better that night. “Therefore, the benefits are never-ending!” she says.
Pull Back On P.M Snacking
Overeating before bed can cause groggy, hangover type symptoms, cautions Tyler. “It is actually ideal to avoid all food at night or before bed as this will interrupt our natural cycle of assimilation of nutrients while we sleep. If anything is going to be consumed it should be a small amount of fruit as it will digest easily.” Many experts agree that consuming food no more than two hours prior to bed is best and drinking water is best ceased 90 minutes before bed to avoid interrupted slumber.
Weeks can run into each other, as can one late night after another. Bad bedtime habits can be broken, but you need to consider them regularly, notes Tyler, who recommends nominating a time each week an hour before lights out, that you can put the wheels in motion to have that bath, read that book or put the kettle on. “Then start your routine from there and once you are solid on this ritual your body and brain will know what to do each evening.”