We all know how ridiculously important sleep is. To perform out best at work, be energised around our friends and to be loving to our family.
Despite this obvious importance, it seems like nearly everybody I come across, in both my work and social life, are suffering in some way from sleep issues. Whether this be struggling to get to sleep, restless nights or, despite having 9 hours of kip, just not feeling rejuvinated. #notsodreammmmy
As a child I struggled heaps with my sleep. Nearly most nights (before I was a teenager) I’d crawl into my Dad or brother’s bed after getting wound up about not being able to doze off. Fortunately they never booted me out!
When getting into the bed of a male family member became no longer socially acceptable, I realised I’d have to deal with the problem for myself. To do so; I read lots, spoke to people on the topic lots and tried many things.
As a result, I’ve picked up some great habits around sleeping and now I can fall asleep (pretty much) on demand, even on public transport. However this isn’t because I’m always tired – when awake I need no caffeine to get me through the day (I love the taste of C though!) and I rarely complain of feeling tired. I put this down to plenty of sleep related learning and consistently practicing good lifestyle habits.
If you want to hear them, my favourite sleepy tips are as follows:
Rarely breaking a sleeping pattern
Sounds boring. Kind of is boring. However, it’s not so boring when you feel completely alive during the day and never counting down the hours until the end of the working day.
Our bodies love routine. I don’t believe that needs to stop you from having fun in any way. However, feeding and resting the body at intervals that it can get used to makes you feel fantastic. In your waking time however you are fully present and free to do whatever you want.
My routine for the past 2/3 years has been lights off at 11, alarm off/wake up naturally at 6. For me this is the perfect amount of rest my body needs. Of course we are all different so you need to find a routine that works for you. This may need to be adapted seasonally.
The 4-7-8 Trick
Essentially you breathe in for 4, hold for 7 and breathe out for 8. I have used this when I wake up during the night and struggle to drift back off (when I’ve had something on my mind)
Read here for more info.
3. Avoiding Queso
Well I don’t eat any dairy but I really do think cheese is a baddie for sleep and not just an old wives tale.
After numerous trips to Gordon’s wine bar in London I’d wake up in the middle of the night sweating after having the most horrific dreams. As a result I wouldn’t wake up feeling so great and I’m sure the wine didn’t help either!
Personally I like to meditate before cracking on with teaching a yoga class/client meetings/working with colleagues. It makes me so much more relaxed and considerate of others.
However, I’ve heard from many people that meditation can be great before bed. Allowing you to go into a state of calm and feel ready to allow yourself to be nourished through rest.
Of course I’m going to mention this one!
I know how it feels that sometimes when you finish a day full of meetings, trying to problem solve and deal with challenging people you would just love a glass of wine. Wine, and alcohol in general isn’t so great for sleep.
Telling yourself ‘you can have wine after yoga’ and attending a class/doing a youtube video before allowing yourself to have a drink has worked for me and plenty of people I know. The reasons why….1) You just don’t fancy wine as much after you have relaxed your body and 2) There is less time for wine!
Hoping a trick or two from this may help you if you ever have sleeping issues xxx