Photo Credit: @Dreamwater
Sure, it's the most wonderful time of the year, but the holidays can also be a touch chaotic with all the food, fun, family, cocktails, chocolate, vino, and visiting. Often, we emerge from the holiday season feeling a little worse for wear.
Set yourself up for success in the new year by improving your sleep quality.
"Sleep is the most potent performance enhancing activity that exists," says Jeff Kahn, co-founder of Rise Science, a Chicago-based sleep coaching startup. "There is no drug, no routine, no activity we've seen that comes close to the type of impact that sleep has on a wide-ranging set of human functions."
A good night's sleep is proven to have incredible short and long term health benefits, both physically and mentally, like: boosting your immune system; improving your metabolism and heart health; and improving your focus, productivity and all around happiness (just name a few).
If you are like me, you may have an 'easier said than done' attitude toward sleep. It can be very elusive with a busy lifestyle. So, how do you make sleep work for you in the new year?
Begin by giving yourself (and your phone) a bedtime. It sounds so simple, but by giving yourself a routine, your body will fall asleep and stay asleep in a more regular cycle. And by 'bedtime', we mean go to bed and be ready to sleep. This means holstering your gadgets and winding down. If you stay up browsing Insta or get caught up in a Netflix binge, you aren't reeeeally ready to sleep. For me, winding down and Netflix fell into the same category...until I discovered: mindful meditations.
Mindful meditations are guided audio meditations you can listen to on YouTube or download on your phone. They focus on reducing stress, yoga-esque breathing exercises, and mindfulness calming of the body and mind. Sessions are generally 10-30 minutes long and are completely relaxing. It may seem silly at first but, I have yet to make it to the end of my incredibly relaxing 30 minute sleep-focused mindful meditation ;).
When you are ready to climb into bed, at your designated bedtime and armed with your mindful meditation, skip the PJs! Sleeping in your birthday suit allows you to naturally regulate your body temperature. Being too hot while sleeping disrupts your sleep cycle, affecting the quality and quantity of your rest. If you sleep with your significant other, skin-to-skin contact also naturally reduces anxiety and strengthens your bond-not, to mention, it's sexy! Which brings us to our next bedtime tip...
According to Women's Health Magazine, sex before sleep also improves sleep quality. For obvious reasons ;); and, because it boosts the production of oxytocin (a love hormone) and decreases the production of cortisol (a stress hormone). The combination of this hormonal change leaves you very relaxed and ready for sleep.
To relax even further we have a few secret weapons in our arsenal:
Dream Water: This natural sleep aide combines GABA, melatonin and 5-HTP in an easy to drink 2-gulp (2.5 oz) bottle in 'Snoozeberry.' It helps on those nights when you need a little push to sleep and it doesn't leave you feeling drowsy the next day. www.dreamwater.ca
Photo Credit: @dreamwatercan
Far Leaves Lavender/Mint tea: A cup of this soothing blend naturally settles the stomach with the peppermint and calms the mind with the lavender. www.farleaves.com
Photo Credit: @far_leaves_tea
Sleep Envie Violet pillow: Our lavender scented memory foam pillow naturally induces sleep through aromatherapy and is so very comfy!
Photo Credit; @Lilsugarmag
In her book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time, Arianna Huffington writes, "By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away."
We wish you sweet dreams and success in 2017!
Happy New Year!
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