This tweak is about one very important 5 letter word; SLEEP.
Ironically, I'm late posting this weekly tip because I've been so tired!! With two teething babies and trying to get a business off the ground, it's pretty hectic around here. By the time work is done, family is cared for, house is tidy and we’re ready to relax on the sofa it's already 9pm and out comes the laptop again or we try to "unwind" in front of the TV and suddenly it's after 11 and we're rushing to bed to get some sleep before one of the babies starts wailing! So mid-week, feeling pretty frazzled, I took stock, re-read this weekly tweak and started implementing better sleep routine and habits. I finally got some good quality sleep and I feel better able to cope with this wonderful chaos!
So this week, the tweak is to improve your sleep by picking a bedtime that will allow you wake feeling refreshed. You choose that time because everyone is different. Some need more sleep than others. Some need to wake up earlier or later than others.
Sound easy? If so, sleep on. If you need a few tips for better sleep - read on...
Tips to sleep better:
Pick a bedtime schedule and stick to it. Plan what time you'll go to bed and what time you'll get up. That old saying - early to bed, early to rise was bang on. We've been trying to make it to bed by 10.30 at the latest.
From 3pm: no caffeine (tea, coffee, coke/diet coke – watch out for some herbal teas that have caffeine – eg green tea)
In the hour before bed:
• Avoid all screens
• Turn the lights down low
• Don’t eat anything that is difficult to digest
Do one or more of the following:
• Drink chamomile tea
• Take a bath
• Read a book
• Focus on you breathing/meditate
Going to bed:
• Leave your phone/tablet downstairs
• No TV in the bedroom
• Don't be too hungry, full, cold, hot
• Make sure you have a quiet, dark, peaceful environment to sleep in
Why is sleep so important?
There's so much research into the beneficial effects of proper sleep that I could write reams. However, what you really need to know is that when you sleep your body is putting its house in order. Recharging, detoxing, de-stressing and rejuvenating. Who doesn't need a bit of that, right?
Sleep and ability to cope :
Sleep well and all of life’s other problems, stresses and strains are so much easier to cope with. Trust me, we have 2 babies under 2 and when we’re sleep deprived (most of the time), things are so much more difficult!
Sleep and food:
Lack of sleep not only effect your mind but can impact your food choices. When you're tired, you crave high calorie foods, sugar and white carbs to give you a short sharp burst of energy. But that's followed by an even bigger low for a perpetual circle of sugar cravings.
How screens effect sleep:
Blue light from screens stimulates the brain and makes it more difficult to slip into a good sleep. So, turn off your TV. Leave your phone downstairs! Turn the lights down low. Read a book. Take a bath – an Epsom salts bath is particularly good for relaxation. Do any of these things. The point is to really unwind in that hour before bed.
Go forth and sleep well
Do this for a week and just notice how your feel by the end of it. We’re not asking you to do this religiously for the rest of your lives. Just try it this week and observe the difference it makes. How do you feel? Does it change your thinking or your outlook? Does it make a difference to how and what you eat?
If you miss a day don’t worry. We’re not into self-flagellation. Try again tomorrow!
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