“Sleep is the best meditation.”
A good sleep can make us see the world with different eyes, especially after we wake up in the morning fresh and full of energy, with yesterday’s problems so far away, locked in a distant corner of our mind…as if they had been magical taken away by a fairy during the night.
Sleep is essential for both our body and brain. It serves to reenergise the body’s cells, clear waste from the brain, and support learning and memory. Okay, but what if your sleep isn’t as good as it should be?
You should “sleep on it”, as the saying goes: scientists discovered that a period of unconscious thought can help aid decision making. Therefore, having a good sleep helps you focus on the important things, such as your everyday tasks, while it improves learning and problem-solving skills. It also puts you in a happier mood – just like when you’re hungry and feeling like the world’s going to end if you don’t eat something in the next ten minutes (that’s “hangry”) – well, same with the lack of sleep. It makes it easier for you to regulate your emotions, the feelings of stress and worry, while also decreasing depressive symptoms. Sleep truly is a magical remedy. But unfortunately not all of us get enough or a high quality sleep.
Not all my nights are perfect when it comes to sleep, but I usually go for an eight to nine hour sleep as I discovered that works best for me – both for my mind and body. No, getting four hours of sleep is not enough and can affect your health if you continue with this unhealthy habit long-term. Same as you carefully plan your diet, choose the best foods and drinks for your body, or the best beauty products for your skin, you should choose to have the best sleep. Find below few of my tips (tried & tested) for getting a better sleep:
Say NO to your phone – Put your phone away at least one hour before going to bed. Its blue light is the worst! Try reading few pages instead, grab an interesting book or your favourite magazine and read for few minutes, or even an hour. You will fall asleep much easily, plus your brain will feel more relaxed.
Clear the air, literally – Make sure to let some fresh air in your bedroom half an hour before thinking of getting into bed. There’s nothing better than sleeping in a fresh, clean room which doesn’t smell of anything annoying. If you’re a sucker for nice scents, then try spraying your pillows with a lavender pillow spray, which will bring calm and peace to your sleep.
No caffeine after 6PM, or 6 hours before bed – In case you didn’t know it yet, you should ditch anything that contains caffeine in the early evening: coffee (even decaffeinated, as it contains a small amount of caffeine), black or green tea, chocolate and hot cocoa, headache remedies or PMS medications. Carefully read the labels, as caffeine will definitely prevent you from a good night’s sleep: it’s a stimulant, blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing adrenaline production.
Create the perfect bedroom environment: try to minimise all artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks, also external noise and light in general. The more quiet, dark and relaxing, the better. My tip? Find the perfect temperature for your bedroom and try to keep it constant each night. If it’s too warm…your sleep will be doomed.
Don’t drink any liquids before bed – Try to have your last drink at least 1-2 hours before bed and also use the bathroom right before getting to sleep. It will decrease your chances of waking during the night.
I encourage you to try and respect these steps and to make a little “sleep routine” for yourself, such as: getting a bath or a shower before bed, letting some fresh air in your bedroom and ditching your phone while you’re at it. No caffeine or heavy foods few hours before bed will most definitely help you sleep like a baby; when you take all these tiny steps daily, it will all come natural to you, I promise and your sleep will certainly improve.
Congrats, you are on your way of becoming a sleeping beauty, one that will wake up fresh, radiant and beaming with energy every morning!