Hey, everybody. My name is Tonya and I’m the holistic health practitioner here at Critical Bench. What I want to talk about in this article is the number one thing you need to be doing to get a better sleep.
So is a good night’s sleep something that seems a rather impossible or foreign or happens only once in a while? Well, you’re not alone if that’s what’s happening with you and it’s really too bad because in order to function really well, to be at our very best, sleep is so important. And in my opinion, it’s one of the most underrated necessities in life. We’re very busy and we’re so busy today with all the things we’re managing: families, jobs, trying to balance it all. There’s a lot going on in a day and a good night’s sleep, quality sleep, is absolutely fundamental in being able to get up, be at our best and get through our day.
I have the answer. I really do. I’ve got the one thing that you can do, that I’m going to share with you, that’s going to help you get a better sleep. Doesn’t that sound great? Well, what is it? You need to create a better pattern.
So what do I mean by that? Establishing a routine or a pattern prior to going to bed that gets your body and your mind in a state that’s ready for sleep. So think of it this way. Let’s say you get home from work and you’re rushing around. You’ve got kids coming and going to all of their extracurricular activities, you’re handling laundry, meals, feeding the dogs, walking the dogs. There’s all kinds of things going on. There’s many moving parts to this unit and it seems like it’s just 110 miles-an-hour from the minute you walk in the door at the end of the day. You finally get it all cleaned up, supper is done, dishes are done, kids are in bed, you’ve put that last load of clothes in the laundry and then you think you’re just going to walk into bed and fall asleep. Probably doesn’t happen. Because what have you done between all that activity to the point where you crawled into bed? You just kept moving. Your brain was engaged because a lot of times we’re running on autopilot. We’re just going through our day because we know what needs to get done and it’s getting done without even thinking. So we’re just going from one step to the next step to the next step. So your brain is always going to be a few steps ahead of you, guiding you into that next task.
What you can do and what is necessary to do is to step back. You need to create a pocket of time somewhere between the business of life and going to sleep that allows your body and your mind to just settle down, to take a step back. It may sound like it’s a really impossible thing to do. It may sound to you like well that’s something else I need to fit into my day, but what’s the alternative? Are things right now working for you? If you’re getting one or two good night’s sleep in a week or some people that I’ve worked with have three good nights of sleep in a month, is their max. That’s horrible. They’re miserable. They’re miserable, they’ve got issues with digestion, they’ve got issues with stress and headaches, they’ve got all kinds of other physical symptoms that are manifesting and at the bottom of it is that they’re just not getting sleep. So sleep is when our bodies repair, it’s when our bodies rest, it’s when our minds rest. Your sleep is a very important part of the day because that is when so many systems in your body are at work. So it’s not like you’re totally taking time off. You need to be in a restful state of sleep for several of the body’s functions and systems to do what they need to do to keep you healthy, to repair, to grow and to give you that energy so that when you do wake up in the morning you are ready for that day, you are ready to jump in, fully engaged and be the superhero in the day. That’s fantastic.
But step back and ask yourself, okay, even starting tomorrow, starting tonight, depending when you’re watching this video, for 20 minutes, if you can give yourself 20 minutes after the last task, job, thing that you do, that you have to do at the end of the day, for the next 20 minutes what can you do as a new pattern that’s going to get your body, to get your brain to a more relaxed state so when you do crawl into bed you actually go to sleep and stay asleep. Some things that might work are possibly reading something, laying in bed reading a book, even just going for a walk around the block just getting out of the house, just getting outside, some fresh air. I’m not talking an exercise walk; I’m talking a stroll, just some form of relaxing activity that doesn’t require you to think, doesn’t require you to count, doesn’t require you to have to look after someone or something, just mindless. Mindless movement that starts to disengage you from the day, take your brain out of that work mode and put you into a state that’s going to increase your chances that when you crawl into bed you’re going to get into that state.
Now, it may not happen right away, so don’t be discouraged if tomorrow you come from work, you do all that family stuff, all your other obligations and you decide, okay, I’m going to take the dog, go for a walk. I’m just going to be very chill. Then you get home, get yourself ready for bed, read a little bit of a book and find that you don’t instantly fall asleep or you only sleep three hours as opposed to two, don’t get discouraged. This is creating a new pattern and anything that’s worthwhile, anything that can become a consistent, sustainable part of your life has to be part of a pattern of behavior.
If you’re not sleeping well, you need a new pattern before bed. Put the phone away, shut off the TV, don’t turn on the coffee pot. Start doing things that are much more relaxing, some yoga, some deep breathing, reading, anything that is considered a chill, relaxing activity to bring you down and get you into a state of readiness for sleep and rest. Your body is going to love you for it and you’re going to feel so much better.