Wellness 360: Sleep

Photo by elizabeth lies on Unsplash

Without sleep, human beings go mad and possibly die.


And with irregular sleep, human beings go just slightly mad. Ever wonder what might be happening in the seemingly insane world around us? Maybe everyone is just sleep deprived...


It might be one of the most underrated aspects of wellness. Sleep is taken for granted because, well, we have to do it. But what about quality of sleep?


If you're waking up regularly during the night, or if your sleeping schedule is erratic you may be missing one massive component of your wellness hygiene that will impact *all* the other components.


So, before we dive into nutrition, exercise or mindset, we need to make sure our sleep is on point so these other aspects can more easily fall into place.


Tips for great sleep:

  1. Decide a great sleeping window for you. Does your body need 5 hours of sleep? Or are you more like me, needing a good 8 hours? This might require some experimentation - one of my favorite parts of wellness! Our body and life is like a living laboratory that we get to produce hypotheses, measure results on then create impermanent conclusions about what is best for us now (I say "impermanent conclusions" because our body and lifestyle needs change over time. We need to keep a keen eye on what our body needs at different times in our life.)
  2. Turn off TV and mobile devices at least an hour before bedtime. This creates a space in the evening for a nourishing bedtime ritual. Instead of scrolling or watching one last episode on Netflix, use this time to relate to yourself. Maybe you decide that reading a book is a great way to calm your mind and body. For me, reading activates my brain and makes it harder to fall asleep. So other options might include:
    • Journaling and dumping all the thoughts that might otherwise keep your mind busy during bedtime.
    • Setting a timer for meditation (either a sitting meditation or a moving meditation like gentle yoga).
    • Upping the ante on your nighttime body hygiene. Instead of rushing through washing your face and brushing your teeth, maybe you use your time to love on your skin and body with some nourishing practices like oil massage, using a clay mask or taking a bath.
    • Spending time exploring your sensuality with yourself or with a partner can also be deeply nourishing and relaxing.
  3. Avoid coffee or other stimulants after 12 p.m. during the day.
  4. Steer clear of the kitchen at least an hour before bedtime so your blood sugar doesn't spike in the middle of the night, waking you up from your beauty rest.
  5. If it resonates with you, try taking a high quality supplement like Magnesium or Melatonin before bedtime to foster a natural state of relaxation in the body.

With a healthy sleep cycle, our wellness routine is fortified. Now we can start to look into the more popular, albeit complex, components of wellness: movement and nutrition.

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