Today is the day for you to truly show up
SLEEP like you LOVE yourself
How did you sleep last night?!
Yep, you guessed it, that’s the topic for this week’s
“Show up for yourself” series
So let’s start with a pretty basic question: do you sleep well?
(Just to clarify, sleeping well means you fall asleep easily, you stay asleep during the night and you wake feeling refreshed with plenty of energy for the day).
What was your automatic response? Yes? No? Or maybe you said Sometimes?
Sleeping is super important, I’m sure you’re aware. It’s a time for us to do a lot of healing and repairing in our bodies. It’s also a time for us to do a lot of processing and learning as we dream and “travel” to different times and places (whether you remember your dreams or not).
There is a great book called “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker and he details all he has researched and studied about sleep and how getting enough good quality sleep is VITAL for the health of our brain and body and how it deteriorates without it. Here’s a little Ted Talk he did where he gives you a quick summary of the importance of sleep.
So if we know that sleep – good sleep that is – is going to help us be happier and healthier humans, why is it that we often deprive ourselves of it?
There are likely many different possibilities to this answer but I think all of the answers likely point to the thoughts we’re having, the stress and emotions that we’re feeling, the lack of purpose, or a lack of love for the self… but that is a whole other topic for another day! (I’ll just plant that seed and if you’re someone who deprives themselves of sleep like me, you may want to ask yourself why…?)
Ok, so let’s get to the main points of today’s email…
How do you sleep like you LOVE yourself?!
You make sleep something you look forward to, something you can’t wait to do because you know how good it will make you feel!
And because you LOVE yourself, you want the best for yourself and you know that sleep is a big part of you feeling and being your best.
After all, you may get to go flying somewhere or experience some other awesome superpower! (Perspective is everything…)
You improve your sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene basically involves us adopting behaviours that allow our circadian rhythm to function optimally so when we feel the need to sleep in the evening, we listen and put ourselves to bed and sleep so well, waking feeling refreshed.
These practices may have a bedtime focus but there are also things you can do during the day and leading up to bed that will help you to get a great night’s sleep.
So let’s dive a bit deeper in how to sleep like you LOVE yourself:
The sleep itself, what’s important?
- Having a consistent bedtime and wake time (my personal suggestion is before 11pm but best between 9-10pm).
- Aiming for 8 hours of sleep. Some people say they operate on 6 hours. They may operate but it is affecting so many of our biological functions without even realising.
- Lowering your bedroom temperature. In your bedroom, the temperature should be cooler, some suggest around 18ºC.
- Sleeping in the dark or use an eye mask if you have flashing lights in your room.
- Got noisy neighbours? Having some earplugs handy, may save your sleep like it has mine on a number of occasions.
- Using mouth tape to encourage you to breathe through the nose. This was a HUGE shift for my sleep and I am someone who breathes often through their nose. If you snore or drool, you’re breathing through your mouth and this is most definitely going to impact how well you sleep. Don’t believe me, try it! All you need is a tiny piece of micropore tape (found at the pharmacy) and you’re good to go. Anyone who is anxious, has sleep apnea or uses a cpap machine needs to do this!
- Switching off all electronics and wifi. My personal practice is to shut off the wifi, turn off all power points and turn my phone onto airplane mode (don’t charge it overnight). You are an electric being. The frequencies from the electricity can affect your whole being and some people don’t even realise how super sensitive they are. You’ll likely notice a difference when you do. The other night I forgot to shut off my wifi and I woke up feeling more tired than usual. When I went to plug in the wifi in the morning, I realised I hadn’t turned it off the night before.
What about leading up to bed?
- Turn off as many lights as you can in the evening before bed. Be in almost darkness in the evening, use lamps or go old school and use candles.
- Avoid blue light by using sleep glasses, installing programs like f.lux on your laptop or desktop and night shift on your phone. Glasses with red, orange or yellow lenses block the blue light, while f.lux and night shift do the same internally for your devices (I like to use them all).
- Limit screen time before bed. I know it’s tricky but if you’re going to use your devices up until you go to bed (I’m guilty of this), control the blue light and be mindful of the content that you consume (keep it calm).
- Speaking of calm… Do relaxing activities before bed (read, take a bath or shower, have a magnesium foot bath, meditate, do some gentle yoga, some gentle breathwork).
- Diffuse calming essential oils like lavender, vetiver, bergamot, cedarwood, sandalwood, frankincense, eucalyptus or whatever scent you find personally relaxing. You can even put some drops of your favourite oil on you pillow.
- Drink a calming tea like chamomile, passionflower or valerian, known for their natural sedative abilities.
- Go to bed on an almost empty stomach. Be sure to finish your last meal 2 hours before you sleep. You want to do the digesting BEFORE you sleep, not during. Get home late? Don’t eat or have a super small snack, enough to take any hunger pangs away.
- Avoid Alcohol. Alcohol messes with sleep so badly affecting our melatonin production (the hormone that makes us sleepy). If you do have a drink in the evening, you can take some activated charcoal to help “mop up” the toxins but please don’t rely on this or use it as a way to consume it every evening.
Finally, let’s talk about what effects sleep well before bed time…
- Naps. Unless sick, napping should never be longer than 30 mins or late in the day. Napping for 1-2 hours when you get home from work at 530 is going to mess up your ability to fall asleep later on.
- Caffeine. It is bad news when it comes to sleep. I personally think that caffeine is a legal drug that does more harm than good (sorry, not sorry). If you’re not sleeping well, coffee is AIDING this because it takes a loooong time for caffeine to be processed out of the body and you’ll still be feeling your morning coffee or that dark chocolate that you’re snacking on in the evening as you try to get to sleep later on. (Won’t give it up? Stick to one in the morning but if your sleep is off, I recommend quitting or tapering down slowly until you no longer need your fix).
- Sugar and processed foods mess up our blood sugar and this impacts our ability to sleep. It’s time we all accepted that there is no room for sh*t food. Seriously. Love yourself so much that you’ll only give your body, your temple, food that will make it feel good.
- Too much computer use. Get some blue light blocking glasses for your day time computer use, especially if you’re on your computer for hours.
“Wow!” I hear you say. “Bianca, that list is sooooo long. Do I really have to think about and do all this?!”
My friend, if it were easy, it would not enable us to change and grow. Seriously.
And this is why doing the tough stuff is how you show up for yourself. Truly.
You’ve got to take yourself to the next level and the next level involves you caring about yourself more than you ever have and not giving up until a new routine or habit is formed.
Whether it’s eating, exercising, sleeping, drinking water and much more, change is required internally to change externally and that’s why this sounds hard, why it’s easier to ignore this email or try something for a couple of days and then quit, go back to your old ways – the old ways that had you sleeping and feeling poorly.
But you’re here! You’re reading this post because you want more for yourself, you WANT to change, to grow, to care!
So what do you say? Will you take on this week’s challenge and start sleeping like you LOVE yourself??!!
You’ve got this! Now, if you’re ready, take a deep breath and say to yourself every day for the next week:
“Today I am going to sleep like I LOVE myself!”
(Meditate on this one, say it out loud, feel it in your bones, bring it into your reality!)
As always, a reminder for you…
YOU can do this for YOU.
YOU have the choice to take responsibility for yourself.
If YOU don’t like the way something is, the way you feel, only YOU can change it.
Be the one to say no to the Netflix and pushing yourself in the evening. Allow yourself the chance to slow down and enjoy a calmer pace in the evening. No-one is coming to turn off the TV and force you to go to sleep at a reasonable time each night. You’ve got to have your back, change starts with YOU!
And most of all, ENJOY sleeping like you LOVE yourself.
You’ve got this!
(Hit us up below with comments or questions.)
Much love and sweet dreams!