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Sleep. One of the most important parts of our life and often also one of the most neglected. How many hours do you usually sleep per night? Do you have a bedtime routine?
If so, is it a healthy one or does it include 3 hours of sitting in front of the TV binge watching? I completely understand you, if that is what you choose doing to wind down. I used to do the same. Does it help you to sleep better? No.
Why I was often exhausted in the past: Unhealthy Sleep Habits
To forget my often exhausting and sometimes plain shitty days at the office, trashy reality TV was THE BEST to numb my senses and to escape my life for a little while.
And trust me, there's a lot of trash TV in Germany including: talent casting shows, model casting shows, dating shows for farmers, dating shows for socially awkward people, spin-offs of the most awkward people of all the aforementioned shows.
All satisfying this weird human weakness for voyeurism. I hated it but still kept watching.
At one point, I learned how reality TV is produced (traumatic experience, I swear). This kind of "reality" was too much to handle and I switched to documentaries. I instantly felt better, because now watching TV didn't feel like a huge waste of time anymore (at least I learned something!).
But one problem remained: I still went to bed way past midnight and woke up feeling really exhausted.
So I decided to do some research regarding healthy sleep routines and how I could implement them in my life. Since then, I changed my routine drastically and am also more mindful about how much time I spend in front of the TV.
Here's how to sleep better:
- Sleep at least 7 hours every night.
- Try being in bed by 10PM, dim the lights and do some stretching there.
- Read some fiction (nothing too thrilling) for half an hour before shutting the lights.
- Put on chilled music.
- Have a cup of tea, see the recipe for it below.
- Wear comfy and loose PJ's. Our bodies want to relax in bed and there's nothing relaxing about wearing tight clothes or even underwear to sleep.
- There are so many studies out there proving that our eyes need to rest from being in front of a screen all day long. Also, the light of the screens (even our smartphone screens) messes with our brain.
Try putting away your smartphone as soon as you start reading to relax your eyes. The best would probably be to ban it from the bedroom completely, but who's gonna wake me in the morning ;)?
- Don't snooze in the morning. Whenever I did that, I was even more tired than when I woke up the first time.
- And last but not least: Have your bedroom completely dark and noise-free (no freaking clock ticking anywhere at home lol).
Weekly Nuggets of Wisdom
Here’s my list full of inspiration to read, listen to, watch and do about "getting enough of that precious zzz aka how to sleep better" - enjoy!
'Mindful Movement to Ease into Sleep' by mindful.org. This is a really great post about having a healthy bedtime routine and actionable advice for you to try out. You'll learn some easy stretching and breathing techniques. Those will help you to wind down, calm your mind and get you into sleep mode in no time.
While doing all those relaxing poses and breathing, you obviously need to listen to some chilled tunes. Try 'Quintana' by Slow Meadow, a beautiful piano and strings piece (it ended up playing on repeat in my music library for the last couple of weeks).
I looooove Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of The Huffington Post and now of wellbeing company 'Thrive'. She's such an inspirational (and funny) woman and a strong advocate for getting enough sleep - especially if you have a really stressful lifestyle.
If you have 5 minutes to spare, watch her hilarious TED Talk about the importance of sleep to be successful in life (although recorded in 2010, it's as relevant as ever).
One of my everyday rituals is making some tea before going to bed. It helps me to wind down. Ginger Lemon Tea works best for me, it's soothing, really yummy, healthy and so easy to make:
Simply cut fresh ginger in thin slices (if you want to, you can remove the skin of the root beforehand, I usually only rinse it) and add one or two slices of lemon to your cup. Add boiling water and wait for 5 minutes for the tea to steep. Et voilà - you're done!
If you're really adventurous, add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and stir it. Honestly, that's not everyone's cup of tea (no pun intended ;)). Turmeric has a very unique taste, I agree, so play a bit around with the amount you wanna add.
It's one of the most amazing spices out there! It's high in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties and supports your immune system, all without any chemicals. Come on, give it a try!
What about you?
What's your bedtime routine? Do you have any special sleep rituals? Let me know in the comments section below 🙂
Are you looking for actionable ways on how to be more mindful in your daily routine? I’ve put together what I call ‘The ultimate beginner’s guide to a mindful lifestyle’ incl. a 30 day planner to keep track on your habits. You can even download it for free!