10 Tips to a Healthy Sleep Routine

Sleep Routine

  1. Sleep Schedule 
    Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time daily
    Doing so will help to regulate the body’s internal clock. 

  2. Practice a Bedtime Ritual / Wind down
    Do the activity of choice away from bright lights
    Examples: Read a book, take a bath, be creative, journal…

  3. Avoid Naps

  4. Exercise Daily 
    Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity.
    Exercise anytime, but not at the expense of sleep.
    Walking is great, either first thing in the morning or after dinner, try and avoid exercising too close to bedtime.

  5. Evaluate your room
    Keep it cool – 60 -67 Fahrenheit (16 - 19 Celsius)
    Free from disturbing noise
    Free from light – Sleep masks work great
    Consider your partners sleeping habits
    Consider using blackout curtains, eyeshades, earplugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices.

  6. Sleep on a comfortable mattress & pillow
    Mattress life expectancy – 9- 10 years (Changing our mattress was a game changer)

  7. Use bright lights
    To help manage your circadian rhythms avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This will keep your circadian rhythms in check (try a SAD light during the day).
    Keep your phone OUT of the bedroom

  8. Avoid Alcohol, cigarettes & heavy meals in the evening: 
    Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep
    Large meals can be hard on the digestive system and can make your bodywork hard, rather then resting and healing the body

  9. Your Bed is not for work
    Avoid working, watching TV and computers in the bed
    Use the bed for sleeping & sex
    If you associate a certain activity or item with anxiety about sleep remove it from the room.

  10. Meditate / Gratitude
    Begin a meditation and gratitude practice, start with 3 minutes of meditation and gradually add more time, use an app in the beginning or take a class. 
    Waking up and going to bed thinking/writing out things you are grateful for will help put your mind and body at easy, on bad days being grateful for sight might be all you can come up with, other days the gratitude’s might flow. 

    BONUS TIP!!!

  11. Essential oils
    Essential oils have healing and relaxation benefits, try applying oils to your feet, temples, forehead, back of neck, shoulders and under noise. Applying some oils to your chest can help with breathing. 
    If you have trouble staying asleep add a carrier oil to slow the absorption into your system, this will help with staying asleep. 

    Essential Oils for sleep: Lavender, Cedarwood, Serenity, Vetiver, Roman Chamomile
    Essential Oils to help with nightmares: Juniper Berry, cyrpess, eucalyptus, wild orange, Balance
    Essential Oils to help with sleepwalking: Vetiver, Serenity, Lavender, Balance, Peace
    Essential Oils to help with restless legs: Basil, cypress, geranium, Aromatouch, Peace, Deepblue, Pasttense
    Essential Oils to help with snoring: douglas fir, eucalyptus, FENNEL (on the big toe), Breathe, Purify,
    Essential Oils to help with jet lag (overtired); Arbovitae, basil, grapefruit,lemon, rosemary
    Essential Oils to help with jet lag (can’t go to sleep): basil, cedarwood, frankincense, Peace, vetiver, Console

    From my experience trying to implement all of these right away just doesn’t work, try one or two for a week, then keep adding.

Mental Illness Isn't A Character From A Film

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about mental health, mine, my families, my ancestors, my friends and I’ve come up with one main observation, everyone has dealt with mental health issues.

Sometime you watch a film and you hear about a clinical diagnosis, “bipolar” “personality disorder” “addict” and the character on the show is how you learn about that diagnosis, the problem is that more often then not it is either a joke (silly exaggeration of truth) or its dark (a cruel depiction of an illness that has a huge spectrum).

This post is to act as a reminder that we are all people.

A diagnosis does not define a person, just like a person living with diabetes or cancer shouldn’t be defined by their illness. When I sit and talk to my friends that have lived through being suicidal moment and who work hard daily to be healthy and happy, I think to myself“Where would they be if people treated them like the characters in movies?”. And I think how blessed I am that they are open to sharing their story with me, because to be vulnerable and host about the struggle of their illness in a world that can be so judgmental and lacking in patience is so brave.

To stay in a healthy headspace can take a lot of work, here is a list I’ve collect from many people who live with mental health issues: 

  • Time with nature
  • Time with animals
  • Meditation
  • Fitness (some need calming like yoga others need to run or do HITT)
  • Friend/Family time
  • Quiet time
  • Essential oils
  • A Bath
  • More Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Therapy
  • 12 Step meetings
  • A job that is solitary
  • A job that is around people
  • Special diet (lots take out gluten, sugar & dairy)

Take time to understand a illness more before you assume they are like a character in a movie or a stereotype. Give a friend a call if you haven’t heard from them, sometimes the best way to help someone having a bad day is to be there and listen.