For many of us, it’s difficult to unwind and sleep — the stress of the day, the state of the world and the constant flow of information is overwhelming. As we multi task the day away it is increasingly difficult to find the “off ” switch, impacting our ability to have a restful sleep.
Sleep deprivation has serious health implications and can impact your career. Arianna Huffington writes all about this in her very personal 2016 book the Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time.
John Hopkins Center for Sleep conducts extensive research on sleep and the effects of sleep deprivation. Poor sleep is linked to a greater risk of catching colds and developing heart disease. Cognitive functions are greatly impaired and the risk for Alzheimers Disease increases with sleep deprivation.
Numerous wellness blogs as well as medical experts offer recommendations on how to prepare and wind down your mind for restorative sleep. I recommend you start by being conscious that creating a night time routine is great your health. Maybe you can only incorporate a few of the steps listed below but at least its a start!
Night Time Routine for Restorative Sleep
- Keep dinner light, Ayurveda medicine recommends making lunch the biggest meal of the day, eating a light meal around sunset, and allowing at least two hours to digest before bedtime.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol after 2pm.
- Unwind the body with a stretch routine. Try to hold each stretch for about 30 seconds while breathing deeply and consciously.
- Take a bath and include aromatic essential oils such as lavender or ylang ylang, both known to create a relaxed mind.
- Have a sleep uniform- wear something comfortable, airy and soft - this process triggers sleep hormones.
- Turn off all digital devices one hour before bed.
- Dim the lights one hour before bed. Listen to soothing music or listen to your thoughts and journal about the day.
- Try your best to stick to the same bedtime everyday.
- Keep the room cool at night, about 68 degrees. The body needs to drop its body temperature in order to initiate sleep so keeping the bedroom cool is a step in the right direction.
- Sleep well.