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Sleep - Steps for good sleep and waking refreshed

Sleep, do you get enough good quality sleep? Do you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go? A lot of us are sleep deprived, we don't get enough quality sleep. We keep our selves too busy to calm down, relax and get good nights rest. It is not doing us any good to keep the candle burning at both ends, it affects our health tremendously. Lack of sleep can cause accidents, complicate health issues like diabetes and other chronic disease, it is linked to obesity and can contribute to mental and emotional issues like depression. Therefore, it is the ultimate measure of self care to get a good nights sleep. So how can we achieve a restful sleep? I have a couple easy steps you can practice to help you prepare for sleep and a couple easy steps to help you wake gently in the morning.


Preparing for sleep:


1) Eat at least 3-4 hours prior to bed.

This act allows your body to be near completing digestion of food and will allow the body to fully rest when this process is complete.


2) Take a lukewarm or cool shower prior to sleep.  

Hot showers and baths activate your body as your body will be working to cool itself down.  Lukewarm or cool showers ease and sooth the body. Showers or baths prior to sleep also allow the mind to let go of all the thoughts and feelings we have held onto during our waking hours. I like to imagine all those thoughts, feeling and beliefs that do not serve me to flow off me during a shower, right down the drain. Try it, you may be amazed at how good this feels!


3) No screen time at least 1-2 hours prior to bed.  

Try reading a book and if you are going to read something on a screen be sure that your blue light filter is turned on, as blue light stimulates your brain to believe it is daytime. The blue filter helps, however, you should still limit screen time including TV prior to bed.


4) Empty your mind.  

You can achieve this by making a list of things you have to do the following day or week.  Putting these thoughts on paper or on a note app in your phone or tablet will help you release the anxiety around remembering all these things and allow your mind to relax.


5) Practicing Gratitude.  

Go over the things you are grateful for at night, this will also bring peace and ease to your mind. If you cannot think of any people, places or things you are grateful for, think of the amazing things your body does for example- breathing, eye sight, hearing, and speaking.


Gentle waking:


1) Try gentle music or gradual light to awake you.  

Startling the body and mind with a loud alarm is generally not a good way to start the day.  You can purchase gradual light alarm clocks on Amazon or in stores. Also look for gentle music or chimes on your phone or tablet instead of loud alarms.


2) Upon waking rub your palms together briskly, warming them and place them over your eyes and face.  

This act will stimulate your eyes and face, gently activating the mind and body to wake up.


3) Smile.  

The act of smiling always will stimulate the mind and body in a positive manner, so start the day with a smile!


4) Celebrate on waking.  

You made it through the night and are blessed to experience another day. So start the day with a celebration or at three things you are grateful for.


There are many other natural things that can help us rest and also help us wake. Some examples are dietary changes, meditation, supplements and essential oils. We will cover more of these natural remedies in future posts. Trying these simple steps outlined above may help you with restful sleep and also gently waking. If you find that you are struggling with getting rest or waking up refreshed, please contact us for a session to get to you back on the road to better health.


Co-Author Jody Holloway, Lifestyle Consultant, Harmony Health Inst.


Justice Naccarato, Natural Health Practitioner

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