As a Health Coach, ensuring my clients have high-quality sleep is one of my first missions.
Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, fertility and more. For detailed explanation about all the benefits associated to sleep, read my article “Top 10 health benefits of sleep”.
Whether you’re insomniac or would just like to boost your health and happiness, you’ll always benefit from better quality of sleep. My rule of thumb: aim for at least 7 hours of uninterrupted, high quality sleep. Sounds like an impossible dream? Let’s see how we can get you there…
“Here are my top recommendations to optimize your sleep”
- Early bedtime. The more aligned you are with nature’s rhythms, the healthier you’ll be. This means being awake with sunlight and going to bed as close to sunset as possible. You’ll feel so much more refreshed and energized!
- Structured schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Of course, there will be exceptions… but the more you train your biological clock to follow a pattern, the better your sleep quality will be.
- Updated to-do list. Write a thorough to-do list before you start your night routine including all the tasks that need to be completed tomorrow and this week. This avoids you waking up in the middle of the night worrying about new things to do.
- No electronics. Turn off your mobile phone, tablet, computer and TV at least 30 min before going to bed. Screens over stimulate your brain and prevent you from relaxing and winding down.
- Light dinner. Have an early, light meal, at least 2 hours before you go to bed. You want to avoid being stuffed or having trouble digesting your meal while trying to rest.
- Limit liquids. Avoid drinking too much water (or any liquid) before going to bed. A simple trip to the bathroom will interrupt your sleep unnecessarily.
- Go easy on caffeine and alcohol. If you have trouble falling asleep, you might want to reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake, even the morning coffee might impact your night rest.
- Night routine. Plan a relaxing night routine that works for you: whether it’s lighting candles, listening to soothing music, taking a hot bath, reading your favorite book, cuddling with your partner or kids… choose something relaxing to do which will serve as a transition from your busy day into your calm night. This routine is individual and personalized: not what your husband or friends like, but what helps YOU relax.
- Restorative yoga. If you can’t sleep, try some yoga poses to relax and release. Forward folds and hip openers are my favorite relaxing poses. See my post “5 Yoga poses to battle insomnia” for ideas.
- Practice mindfulness: instead of thinking about everything that happened that day or will happen in the future, try to focus on here and now. The touch of your bed linen with your skin, the feeling of air entering and exiting your nose when you breathe, the feeling of your body sinking into the mattress, the smell of candles, the sound of relaxing music…
- Deep belly breathing. Breathe in and out through your nose. Every time you inhale, fill up your belly like a balloon while counting to 5 slowly. Pause when you’re full. Then start deflating your belly as you exhale while counting to 5. Pause when you’re empty. Repeat, a little slower than the previous breath…until you drift into a sweet, relaxing sleep.
I hope these tips will help you optimize your sleep so you can fully rest, restore and re-energize. The world needs you in full shape so you can share all your gifts and fulfill your goals… so sleep your way to the best version of yourself!
If you have questions or comments, find me at @soniaribascoach and we’ll chat.
Yours in sleep quality,