Whew! You’ve just had a long day. Maybe you accomplished a lot on your “To Do” list, or maybe life threw something unexpected at you and you had to change course. You finally reach that moment where you can relax, crawl under the covers and leave your busy day behind. You close your eyes waiting for sweet sleep to sweep you away and…nothing. You lay there with the remnants of the day’s activities swirling around in your head.
How do we halt this scenario and get ourselves in a place where we can experience all the nourishing, therapeutic benefits of a peaceful night’s sleep? The fact of the matter is a good night’s sleep is the result of good habits throughout the day.
- Eat: Even on hectic days, be sure to bring food and water with you so you can eat and drink regularly throughout the day. This way you don’t risk running around all day on an empty stomach only to get home and overeat right before bed.
- Accentuate the Positive/Eliminate the Negative: With Social Media, the news, etc. it’s so easy to become bogged down with negativity. That’s why it’s important to avoid things like gossip and not allow our own negativity to become self-indulgent. However, try as we may, we can’t avoid everything, so on those days when we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to take time to process and work through those feelings so we can separate ourselves from them. One of the best ways to do this is to take a few minutes to write down the things that are upsetting us, acknowledge them and make a decision to let them go. Having a clear mind and allowing ourselves to physically and emotionally heal and remove ourselves from the day is essential to a restful sleep.
- Keep Your Conscience Clear: One of the best ways to prepare for a sound, peaceful sleep is by living well with one’s self and others. Practicing kindness towards others restores the soul in so many ways and helps to keep our minds at peace.
- Create Positive Unwind Time: A lot of us enjoy unwinding in front of the TV. It allows us to relax and take our mind off the day. While this is fine earlier in the evening, too much stimulation right before bed can make it difficult to get proper rest. Avoid watching the nightly news and even magazines if they get you excited. Initially it may feel isolating to not immerse yourself in what’s happening in the world, but in today’s information age, it won’t take you too long to catch up on what’s going on the next day. Plus, because you’re well rested, you’ll be more able to cope and think clearly, so it’s really the better way to invest your time.
- Cleanse: The skin is the largest organ of the body and, like the rest of our body, it needs rest to properly heal. This is especially true if the skin is broken out. A thorough nighttime skincare routine not only clears away the day’s dirt and grime, it also sets your skin up to do its best healing. Plus, the time taken to care for your skin is wonderful for winding down.
Sleep affects our health and relationships, even how we feel and our skin. Good sleep is a daily practice. It requires a conscious dedication to self-care and to creating positive habits.
The ÀTOI Team