The inactivity of sleep is often overlooked, as we tend to focus more on ‘doing’, to improve our well-being, rather than to recognise that rest holds an equal amount of radiance. Sleep is considered one of the vital pillars of health, accompanied by good eating habits, regular moderate exercise, a love for what you do for a living and being in healthy communication with your fellow human.
Routine is indeed sleep’s ally. To establish the habit of gradually winding down at the end of the day, say from 8pm, put the body and mind in a state of relaxation before naturally falling asleep. In turn, to wake up in the mornings at a set time, even over weekends, creates a healthy routine which put our bodies into a good structured rhythm.
Our lives nowadays are indeed consumed with electronics, from televisions, to computers, to tablets & phones, which over time have crept into our beds with us. Sadly, the use of these devices before bedtime are not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Not only does the blue frequency of light, which many of these devices emit, tend to keep the brain wide awake deep into the night, but also the simple alertness required from the brain to respond to text messages and social media posts, reduces our ability to gently fall asleep. Consider to adopt the habit to completely unplug at a certain time of night, say two hours before you retire to bed.
Our modern state of mind to constantly worry about our future, the tasks awaiting us at our place of work and our responsibilities towards our families, can adversely impact our quality of sleep. This is where daily mediation, even as little as 5 minutes before bedtime, can assist to calm our minds and bodies to a gentler readiness to doze off.
Daily exposure to fresh air and direct sunlight releases endorphins during the day, which all plays a vital role to support a good night’s rest. Consider to make physical outdoor activity part of your daily routine. Walking in your local park, cycling to work, or joining a regularly scheduled yoga class are simple activities which benefit greatly.
The energy and time it takes our bodies to digest a heavy meal close to bedtime, inevitably deteriorates our quality of sleep. Consider to opt for light wholesome vegetarian suppers, preferably three to four hours before your bedtime. Coffees and certain teas contain caffeine which is best avoided at night, not to mention the use of alcohol.
Regular massage therapy is known to enhance the quality of our sleep, especially to enter the stages of deep sleep for longer periods of time. Sleep is relevant in relation to massage because it encourages the body’s production of serotonin, which is responsible for the creation of melatonin, our ‘sleep hormone’.
A dark and quiet, yet comfortable and well-ventilated bedroom is an ideal setting for good slumber. The use of thick heavy curtains will assist to block out any outside light. Either cover, switch off or remove electronic devices from you bedroom which admit light when powered on. Ironically, even the red dials found on many digital alarm clocks can potentially unsettle sleep.
If you need to get up at night, best to keep your surroundings as dim as possible, with the use of either dim nightlights or faintly lit flashlights. This will in turn assist you to fall asleep with greater ease after returning to bed.
At the end of the day, these are mere guidelines, as it’s up to you to find what works best for your particular way of life. The trick is, to put your well-being first, and the other aspects of your life will tend to fall into place.
Sweet Dreams from Tamarind Springs.
Until next week.
Your Tamarind Springs blog team