Sleepless nights are not cool. Period. There’s nothing worse than heading to bed thinking “I’m a terrible sleeper” or “I wonder how many times I’ll be up tonight.” No wait, there IS something worse. Not falling asleep for hours or waking up at 2, 3, 4am and counting down the moments of sleep you WON’T be getting tonight.
If that feels like you, close your eyes. Take a breath. Sleep doesn’t have to feel like this. You can reclaim your energy and find your inner calm, bringing balance to your body. Take another breath.
If you’re ready to improve your sleep, Nutritionist and Sleep Consultant, Bridgette Clare shares a top 5 checklist you can start using today to sleep better, deeper, longer.
1. Reframe How You Think About Sleep
Crack open your journal and open a new page. Write the word "sleep" and let yourself free write whatever comes to mind when you see/think of the word sleep. Now do the same for "rest". It doesn't need to make sense, just let the words flow.
Take a breath. Then read what you wrote.
What theme(s) do you notice?
What jumps out at you most about sleep and rest?
What is your relationship with sleep and rest?
Now ask yourself:
What can you commit to with sleep and rest this week?
Write that down, and do that. If you're feeling stuck on what to write, that's ok. Write that.
Thinking of that theme(s), where else does that show up in your life?
It could look like this:
I have never slept well
I can't sleep without...
I have kids so I'm supposed to be tired
I don’t have kids so I shouldn’t be tired
What is your relationship with that theme (I have never I can't__without, I am supposed to ___), And where do you think that originated from?
These are all great questions to meditate on or journal about or simply consider as you read them now. No right or wrong answer and you're not looking to solve or fix anything, rather bringing it into your awareness.
Journaling helps us to notice patterns and be clear on what actions to take.
Making a conscious choice shows us that we are free to rest how it feels good. The actual decision we make doesn't really matter here, what matters is that we show ourselves we can and then see how it feels. No "one way fits all" around here. This is for you, by you.
2. Choose (Your Bedtime) Wisely
Rest and sleep are when your body repairs. This is important for your overall wellbeing, but how much do you really need? The answer is simple, how much do you want? Whatever number comes to mind is what more than likely you need.
Think back to the last time you woke up feeling refreshed. How many hours of sleep did you have? If you can't think of a time like this, then I have a feeling this is going to be a supportive week for you, if you dive into the practice of improving your sleep.
On average, an adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night to have restorative benefits of sleep. BUT it's not just about the numbers, it's about the quality of your sleep and getting enough sleep cycles per night for you.
If you want to learn more about sleep, Heathline has an uber detailed article on all the things. The science, the STATs, the numbers, all of it.
3. Keep Your Schedule
A regular bedtime is a component of a normal circadian rhythm (your natural sleep-wake cycle). National Sleep Foundation and Sleep.org both recommend sticking to a consistent routine to help your body prepare for sleep. If you need 9 hours of sleep each night and want to wake at 7 am, that means you need to be sleeping by 10 pm at the latest. Start your bedtime routine 30-60 mins prior and stick to that every day.
4. Set The Mood
Dim the lights, put the electronics away, play some mellow music, turn on your diffuser, and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to infuse your bedroom with the balancing power of scent.
If you’re a straight, no chaser, kind of person, French Lavander, which has been used for generations as a sleep aid, is the oil we recommend. If you like a mixer, Calm is your go-to for a tranquil, grounding blend of Lavender, Orange, Cedar, and YlangYlang.
5. Reclaim your energy
Know this, a little work and positive change is more than enough. Focus on the good. Your goal is to rest your body in a way that feels good for you and in time you will notice the impact of that change in your mood, your energy, and your vitality. For when that energy kicks it, Bursera has your playlist waiting for you.
Sleep and rest are necessary. And you deserve to feel rested.
Which scent are you bringing to bed with you? Let us know with the hashtag #mybursera #yourinnercalm.
Author: Bridgette Clare