Sleep: The Remarkable Healer

5.png

Most of us wish we could get a better nights rest. We dream of getting more hours through the night to sleep, but yet most of us don’t. We compromise the hours we do have in our beds for things we deem more important, like work, school, and entertainment. When it comes to hours in a day, there never seems to be enough. And when we need more hours and minutes for all the busy things that fill our day, sleep is the currency we bargain with for more time. But it’s essential to remind yourself just how important sleep is for your health, and why we no longer should be compromising it.

WHY WE NEED SLEEP

Contrary to popular belief, sleep is an active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration, and strengthening in our body and mind occurs. It aids in repairing the body, supports the immune system, allows brain functions to strengthen, and helps to regulate our emotions. Sleep is still somewhat of a mystery, but studies have proven just how crutial it is in restoring and rejuvenating all functions in the mind, body, and soul.

HOW MUCH SLEEP WE REALLY NEED

A good night’s rest is critical for everyone, though the amount needed does vary based on age. While the average adult requires 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, it increases greatly for children and teens as younger minds require more time to grow and develop. Young babies need between 11-14 hours, children between 9-11, and teenagers require 8-10. This is why getting enough sleep while going through school is so important as your brain has more time to retain information, develop better memory, and optimize for learning.

WHY WE CAN’T SLEEP

As technology advances and becomes more and more a common place for every household, we ultimately suffer in the sleep department. Screen time and artificial light negatively affects our nervous system which prevents us from getting a full, quality slumber. And as our society puts more pressure on us to be taking on more, working harder, and being more ambitious, it adds greatly to our stress levels which in turn don’t allow us to wind down and turn off.

HOW TO HAVE A BETTER SLEEP ROUTINE

Creating a personal, night-time routine is something we stand by and has so many wonderful benefits for bettering your health and lifestyle. Here are some of our favourite tips for creating a better bedtime routine:

1. Consistency. It’s key here. Maintain a regular sleep pattern by going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day. Set yourself some goals for early rising and make sure to be winding down early enough in the evening to be getting the right amount of Z’s.

2. Put the phone down. Limit your screen time use in the later evening and avoid using your phone in bed. I know we are all guilty, but you’ll feel more rested and get a better sleep if you opt for a book before bed instead.

3. Have a bath. This one is our personal favourite. Try getting into the bath a few hours before bed to raise your body temperature, which then triggers your body to drop your core temp before bed. Having a drop in temperature before bed increases the chances of falling asleep quicker and allows you to enjoy the soothing hug of your comforter better. Plus, baths are just oh so nice. Pro tip: add a lavender bath bomb or some oil and dim the lights. The best.

4. Meditate. Every single day. Get into the habit of setting 15-30 minutes aside before you are heading to bed to practice meditation. Your practice is a very personal and individual ritual so create a space designed for you in which you feel safe and secure and allows you focus and go deeper. Try a guided body scan, listen to calming nature sounds, or meditate to singing bowls. Whatever works best for you, just make sure to meet yourself in your space.

5. Drink herbal tea. Steep a mug of caffeine-free tea as part of your winding down time before bed. Reach for a tea with chamomile, lemon balm, or passionflower. The natural properties of these herbs aid anxiety, reduce stress, and calm your system, but just the act of making a cup of hot tea alone can induce a state of relaxation and set you up for a good night’s rest.

6. Set up your bedroom. It’s good practice each morning to make your bed as soon as you’re up. It’s sets up your day on the right foot and creates a blank canvas for when you’re ready to sleep again. Create an inviting space in your room and have any sleep remedies available on your night stand such as linen sprays, diffusers, and essential oil roll-ons. We love using all of those things as the last act before putting our head on the pillow. And remember that your bed is meant for only two things: sleep and romantic ventures.

Rachel McCreesh