Practice Self-Care With A Good Night's Sleep

Kickstart your self-care practice by looking after your sleep routine.

Sleep is considered one of the essential pillars of wellness. Even a couple of nights of poor sleep can lead to irritability, fatigue and low motivation. Chronic sleep disturbances have been directly linked to stress, depression and anxiety. Whilst each person's sleep needs are different but the recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-8 hours per night.

How you spend your day determines how you spend your night. And how you spend your night determines how you spend your day.

One of the easiest ways to start your self-care practice is to revamp your sleep habits. Here are my top tips for ensuring a good night's sleep:

  1. Develop a sleep routine: wake up and go to bed at the same time each day to establish your sleep/wake cycle. You can further reinforce this routine by doing the same thing before bed each night.
  2. Create the right environment: your bedroom should be your sanctuary. Make sure it is dark, quiet and a comfortable temperature.
  3. Wind down: practice activities that promote calming a busy mind. These can include meditation, stretching, reading, or journalling. If your mind is racing with thoughts about what you need to do tomorrow or other worries, write them down. This will signal to your brain that you are aware and on top  of these things and that it can let them go.
  4. Exercise regularly but avoid strenuous exercise a few hours before bed.
  5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol: caffeine can take up to 10 hours to metabolise in the body and will cause sleep disturbance. Alcohol iniitially acts like a sedative but once it is metabolised in a few hours it stimulates the brain and causes waking.
  6. Limit electronics: the light from devices interrupts the sleep cycle
  7. Use your bed for sleep only: watching TV, scrolling social media, working or studying from your bed is not conducive to sleep. Retrain your brain to associate your bed as a space for rest and sleep only.

Try these tips and see how your sleep improves. And by addressing your body's sleep needs, you have taken your first important step in self-care.

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