For many years I suffered from debilitating and discouraging insomnia. I feel your pain if you endure sleepless nights or frequently experience trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Follow my three tips to sleep like a baby. Embrace sleep hygiene like an athlete in training for sleep.
Athletes notice how poor sleep affects performance because they keep score. Think like an athlete and treat your sleep as though you were being paid for each day of sleep performance.
1. Good sleep starts at sunrise
Get out early to get light on your eyes. The sun resets your biological clock so that you feel sleepy at night and alert in the morning. Daylight wakes you up your physiology by halting melatonin production.
Recent studies on circadian rhythm demonstrate that the more natural light you get during the day, the better you fall asleep and stay asleep.
2. Eat your way to better sleep
You may think I am talking about what to eat, but the truth is that the when we eat makes all the difference. Try to eat your biggest meal of the day at lunch, somewhere between 11-2.
Many cultures already have a tradition of eating a big meal in the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky and bile production peaks. Consume a lighter meal of soup, salad or vegetables for dinner.
You will sleep more soundly when you have supper 2-3 hours before bed, so plan accordingly. Believe it or not, the latest research on our biological clocks indicates that your sleep cycles sync with meals, so the more regular, the better.
3. Plan a topnotch nighttime routine
A stressful, busy day that ends in collapsing in bed after barely brushing your teeth sends the wrong signals to your nervous system.
You wonder why you can’t fall asleep or wake up in the middle of the night. An inspiring bedtime routine allows you to slowly unwind mental and emotional tension so that you don’t take it with you to your dream state.
The hour before you hit the sack should be a sensual extravaganza. Invest in what makes you feel great. Dab sleep-inducing essential oils, like lavender, ylang-ylang, chamomile and cedarwood on your neck, wrists and or pillow.
Take a hot bubble bath. Give yourself a foot massage or ask your BF or GF for a back rub. Use an app like Calm to meditate or do a restorative yoga pose. Think of 3-5 of your absolute fav relaxing activities, the ones that you pine for, but never indulge in. This is not a chore.
Take an hour before bed to indulge for next seven nights and notice the results. Contact me if your sleep does not improve. Do it for a month and you will be addicted to the pampering and most importantly, the resulting blissful sleep.
Original post here.