Our days are a reflection of our nights and our nights are a reflection of our days. In other words, ,the quality and quantity of our sleep will greatly influence how we meet and deal with our days and vice versa. So where does one start the virtuous cycle towards a healthier, happier and more effective version of ourselves?
I would like to suggest that working on our nights is a better place to start. Firstly, unless one suffers from a sleep disorder, our nights are overall more simple, and controllable than our days. Secondly, sleep is the activity we do the most and therefore plenty of experience to draw on. Lastly, it is very likely that we are sleep deprived and the earlier we remedy the issue the better!
So before I enquire further on the topic of fearlessness, commitment and freedom, let’s establish some basic healthy habits and sleep must be one of the most crucial one. If we are to be ready tomorrow we have to be ready tonight. Here are some of the most common tips for better sleep:
- Turning our bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment
(Dark, cool, quiet, stimulation-free and comfortable)
- Sleeping for at least 8 solid hours per night
(recent studies have shown that apart from some very rare exceptions we nearly all need the same amount of sleep)
- Keeping our internal clock set with consistent sleep
(establishing basic rules about bed time and wake up time)
- Avoiding chemicals that interfere with sleep especially in the evenings
(caffeine, alcohol, nicotine…)
- Ensuring adequate exposure to natural light
(exposure to natural daylight during the day & keeping the room dark during the night)
- Limiting daytime naps to 30 mins
(for some, regular early-afternoon naps may be beneficial)
- Balancing fluid intake and eating light meals in the evening
(Drinking plenty during the day and less prior to bed)
- Exercising daily
(stretching, walking, swimming, running…)
- Establishing a regular relaxing bedtime routine
(warm shower, light stretches, relaxation, reading a book…)
- Remembering that not all nights will be good nights
(Avoiding, feeding worries, moving, looking at clock)
Everyone will have their own issues: not enough exercise, caffeine in the afternoon, looking at screens in beds, waking up too early and the list goes on. For me, establishing a regular and healthy bedtime routine has perhaps been the hardest. There always seems to be things to be done, conversation to be had, email to be checked, etc…, and until quiet recently I nearly gave up on the idea.
Today’s exploration, however, has uncovered that it is where I need to focus, so without further adieu, I am off to plan my ultimate night routine with the help of an article on Lifehack I just stubbled on.
Sweet dreams and remember tonight is the new tomorrow.
Photo by Krista Mangulsone
Some useful links: