There is much focus on the morning routine and as you know dear reader, I’m a big fan of the 4.30am edge. But if you don’t get some solid sleep before hand, you may end up punching your alarm clock rather than punching the air with enthusiasm in the morning. We are probably all familiar with the heavy feeling of fatigue and its side effects; stumbling into furniture, placing your keys in the fridge and the milk in your bag, craving sugar, caffeine and sleep so bad that everyone starts to look like a grande Frappuccino with a donut pillow head…So to save you from eating and lying on your friends, it’s important to have a good sleep routine to put you on the nod express train to sleepy village.
The Early Bird Special: Oldies love eating early and you should too! Try to eat and drink 3 hours before bed. This gives your body time to digest so it can then have time to rest. It also gives you a little dose of the benefits of intermittent fasting especially if you can push back your breakfast time too. It helps put the fast back into breakfast and puts you on the fast track for those abs o’ steel. .
Mighty Magnesium: Magnesium and sleep are like #couplegoals. Taking a magnesium supplement (powder in water/ spray on skin/the red pill or the blue pill) can help you to feel calm, relax your muscles and decrease the stress hormone cortisol. They’re the perfect loved-up couple like Jay Z and Queen Bey (without the cheating rumours).
Kids! It’s bedtime: Now parents these days are onto something with this bath-book-bed formula for putting their kids to sleep (all hail the almighty and sleep deprived parents). “Do you know what my bedtime story was when I was a kid? Darkness! My favourite character was the complete absence of light!” (thanks Jerry Seinfeld). But truly, a shower or bath an hour or two out from snooze-ville can relax the muscles and mind. Add lavender whenever and wherever possible. Choose a book to read that will allow your mind to relax. So best to put aside “Ulysses” or “A Brief History of Time” for now and pick up the latest lighthearted bestselling tome.
Electric Dreams: Try to avoid your TV/ computer/phone screen as much as possible 30 mins-1-hour pre bed. I know it’s hard! Especially when it’s “Bachelorette” season, am I right guyz?! Screen time stimulates your brain’s electrical activity, increasing stress and therefore cortisol, taking you away from the land of nod. The light from the pesky devices also stimulates the production of the hormone melatonin signalling to your brain it’s party time rather than PJ time. If possible, charge your phone overnight in another room and consider putting on airplane mode/ do not disturb. I’ll know you’ll miss your bestie i-phoneY, but he’ ll just be next door-promise!
Dear Subconscious: Problems that are difficult to solve consciously can be left to the subconscious mind to work out while you’re asleep. Take a few minutes in the evening to write down 3 things you’re grateful for and any questions you are pondering. The answers might pop into your head in dream form or upon waking the next morn. Hal Elrod, author of “The Miracle Morning”, also suggests reading aloud some bedtime affirmations such as; “I will energetically spring out of bed at … AM to create the most extraordinary life I can imagine-the life I deserve to live”.
You are getting very sleepy: Your mind can be a maniac at times. It may need encouragement to stop replaying events of the day or Ed Sheeran songs (they really get right into your brain) and go the f**k to sleep. Most people have a sweet spot of sleep length between 6-8 hours and of course some are night owls so adjust accordingly. Meditations, soft music or nature sounds can soothe you to sleep. I’m using the app ‘pzizz’ at the moment and it’s awesome-dream scapes and voices-sleep hypnosis style!
So get into your PJs and drift off to subliminal whale sounds and experience the difference that a good night’s sleep can have on our mental and physical wellbeing. And remember, there’s plenty of daylight hours to sing, ‘She played the fiddle in an Irish band but she fell in love with an English man’.
Love and light and you are getting very very sleepy xxx Yvette