A good bedtime routine for a better night’s sleep

A good bedtime routine for a better night’s sleep

1.  Take a warm shower or a Bath

     A warm shower will clean and metaphorically wash away the day and help the calm the mind, ready for sleep.

     A soak in a bath with a cup of Epsom salts (250 gm), and 8-10 drops of lavender oil.  The water is soothing, can help you feel like you are washing and leaving the day behind, ready for sleep.

     Epsom salts, full of magnesium, helps with relaxing the muscles.

     Candlelight - gets your brain to tell your body it's time for rest and to get into sleep mode.

    1. Meditate or Easy stretch

    Meditate:
    Practising 10-15 minutes of meditation is an excellent way to wind down. If you haven't tried meditation, I recommend a couple of links to start you off:

    1. Daily Calm, video or
    2. Tara Brach, music.

    Remember, you can download an episode, save it on your device, and put your phone on night shift mode to reduce the blue light, if you have a smartphone.

     

    The L Shape Stretch:
    Why not realign your body for 10-15 minutes before bed to lighten your body from the daily stress and busyness of life, and get your body into the best posture before you sleep?

    Step 1:

    In comfy clothes or your pj's, find a wall and a substantial book about 5cm – 10cm

    Step 2:

    Put your legs straight up against the wall and your back on the floor. Use a book under your head. This helps your neck align with your spine. 

    Step 3:

    Lie here for 10 min – 15 min or longer if you like.

    This position is magic:

    • Relieves compression from each vertebra from a day of sitting down, moving, pulling or carrying things all day.
    • Stretches the hamstrings and realigns your hips
    • Best of all - drains your lymphatic system. Great if you suffer from swollen ankles. 

      

    1. Hydration 

     One hour before bed, have a cup of camomile tea (or your favourite herbal tea).

     Water, water, water!

     Drink at least 2 litres throughout the day of non-caffeinated water and stay hydrated.

     Humans are made up of 75% - 80% water. Our brain alone is made up of 73% water and needs plenty to function correctly. Without enough H2O, our organs cannot function properly to maintain a healthy body. 

     For the best-uninterrupted sleep, it is wise to have caffeine earlier in the day and avoid alcohol at night.  However, if this is not possible sometimes, remember to dilute and flush the body by drinking lots of water.

    1. Switch off and wind down one hour before bed

     Pick up a book, switch off devices - laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Rest your eyes from artificial blue light.

     Our brain runs on a 24-hour clock called the circadian rhythm, which tells us when to wake up and when to sleep based on the light changes in our environment. For example, sunrise tells us to wake up, and sunsets tell us it's time to sleep.  Artificial light such as those found in most devices can alter this rhythm and are best avoided at least 30 minutes before sleep.

    1. Move your body

     Make sure you get enough exercise - at least an hour a day. Anything from walking, yoga, a gym workout will do. Anything that increases your heart rate and moves your muscles and bones.
    The mind-body connection of exercise and uplifted moods can help deepen our sleep.

     Movement helps the lymphatic system to drains toxins and makes fighting cells for the body.

     

    By Miria Aman, Holistic Health Expert

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