by Joy Frelinghuysen
Work these sleep tips into your wellness routine for just 1 week and notice the difference in your overall health and vitality.
Sleep is natural. It’s free. It supports you in being more fully the person you came here to be. And, you don’t even have to leave your bedroom to get it. So what are you waiting for? Challenge yourself to a one-week experiment using the following sleep tips and see how different you feel.
Better Sleep is Your Secret Weapon
There is a fountain of youth inside us but we walk by it every day, unaware of its existence. We’re so busy trying to better ourselves physically, in costly and time-consuming ways, that we miss what is right under our noses.
Have you ever encountered a person whose eyes seem to sparkle? In their presence, you feel buoyed and light. You marvel at them, trying to figure out what it is. They may not be young or traditionally beautiful but there is a sense of wellness that permeates their being. Chances are, this person drinks from the endless well of good sleep.
Sleep restores vitality, health and a youthful appearance. During sleep, every system of our body cleanses and repairs itself. Think about that. All we have to do is lie there and we are refreshed on a cellular level. When we get enough sleep, we have fewer wrinkles. We lose weight more easily. We awaken deeply refreshed. The world seems full of possibility. Yet, how often we forget this wisdom and return to our poor sleep habits.
Most of us only prioritize sleep when our lack of it becomes a problem; we are jet-lagged or have endured so many nights of insomnia we feel ill. Only then do we make time for sleep. However, “catch up” sleep doesn’t change our physiology or emotional well-being. We need the consistency of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day in order to thrive.
Don’t wait until you are overtired to fill up on sleep. Our relationship with sleep needs to be proactive rather than reactive. Grab that short nap if you suddenly have a window. Studies done on airline pilots found that when they had a fifteen-minute nap before their long-haul flights, they didn’t get as tired and their performance was improved.
Having trouble settling down before bed?
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Try This Sleep Experiment
For one week, try an experiment that could transform your life: prioritize sleep above all else and see what you notice. From a bird alighting on a branch to the love in a family member’s eyes, being rested enables you to see and feel more.
As you contemplate this experiment, you may think, “I can do this for a week but I could never sustain it.” Take stock of how you feel at the end of the week. Then, if you revert to your habit of squandering sleep, ponder the reason why.
Ask yourself, “Is there is a part of me that likes running on empty? Do I use sleep-deprivation as an excuse for some of my shortcomings? Or is feeling tired and stressed familiar and I crave what is familiar?”
We have the ability to heal ourselves through the alchemy of sleep. No matter how long it takes us to come to this knowledge, that fountain of youth will be there, waiting for us.
Deep down, we know sleep is our superpower and our birthright. Trust it and there will be a day when you look in the mirror and see it with your own eyes. You will feel empowered and free. You will shine, as you were meant to.
10 Sleep Tips
The following sleep tips will bring better health and vitality to your life. Let us know how your sleep experiment goes in the comments section!
- Commit to going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekend. Shoot for 9 hours of sleep. (Scientists insist we need 7-9 to maintain good health).
- Leave your electronic devices outside the bedroom. They will sabotage your sleep experiment. You know this. You also know there are alarm clocks.
- Give yourself a soothing transition into sleep through breathing, meditation, yoga, herbal tea or reading a book.
- Allow yourself 30 minutes to fall asleep after turning off the light so you don’t stress about achieving your bedtime.
- Swing out of bed when your alarm goes off. Lingering in bed will disrupt your schedule and your sense of self-control.
- During the day, make time for a short nap, breathing session or meditation (10-15 minutes is sufficient).
- Minimize or omit alcohol during this week. Consuming alcohol before bed makes us experience constant short awakenings during the night.
- Plan ahead. If you have a social engagement, let friends and family know you will be leaving the gathering early to honor your experiment this week.
- Find photos of yourself (or photos of other people) looking rested, healthy and happy. Look at them every day and know that this can be your reality, if you choose it.
- Keep a journal during this week so you can remember the benefits more sleep provides.