If you clicked through to this post read on for ways to improve your sleep. Maybe because you’re finding it hard to fall asleep, maybe you wake up multiple times during the night or maybe you wake up feeling as tired as you felt when you went to sleep. Let’s start by saying that this is super normal and in fact, most people experience these exact feelings everyday.
For us, sleeping well means going to sleep at more or less a similar time every night, falling asleep without tossing and turning for a good hour (or more), dreaming and sleeping through the night and waking up in the morning feeling rested and energised to take on another day. We have created for you some top five tips to help facilitating the best sleep of your life and slowly, over-time making good sleep quite normal for you.
Warm bath/shower. Did you know that a warm bath or shower can help by signalling your body that it’s time to start producing more melatonin which is basically the way our body realises it’s late and we want to go to sleep? Having a warm shower or a bath with some candles, delicate scents and Epsom salt can help you wind-down and feel sleepy. The cleanliness aspect of it is also beneficial, it helps in making the bed a sacred space and even more so, it can support a more energised feeling when you wake up.
Relaxing music coupled with stretching/easy movement. Sometimes we can’t help watching TV or sending that last email before we go off to sleep. But all this information can keep your head switched on and cause a busy mind that would not let you sleep even when you try really hard. That’s why our second tip is to put on some calming music and do easy slow movement in the form of stretching or slow flow yoga. This helps to clear the head from the day’s thoughts (or tomorrow’s to-dos), to stop trying to do things and to just be in the moment for a little while. The movement will also support a healthy blood flow throughout the body that can assist in the relaxation process.
Put your phone to sleep an hour before you intend to. In addition to reducing the ‘busy mind’ that was discussed above, screens blue light which is the enemy of sleep. Even when you turn off blue light on your phone or laptop some still remians. This blue light prevents your hormonal system from producing melatonin in natural quantities which hinders sleep. This means that when you finally put the phone away you are still feeling very much awake and sometimes not even tired! Saying goodbye to screens for a while before sleep will help you get into bed ready to sleep.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering what you’re meant to do during this time before you actually want to sleep. So why not start journaling. Writing a journal is such a beautiful way to feel blessed and fulfilled, and having those warm feelings in your heart will send you to sleep like a baby. It can be as fancy or as simple as you’d like it to be – a beautiful notebook or just some scrap paper. The act of jotting the things down is very powerful with incredible benefits beyond just sleep. We recommend writing down things like what happened during your day, what you feel grateful for and the things you’re excited about.
Treat yourself to a cup of Reishi and Mucuna drink (recipe below). Both Reishi and Mucuna are adaptogens that support relaxation, quality sleep and vivid dreams. This will in-turn promote excitement for the day ahead. Reishi is the queen of the mushroom kingdom and as such, throughout history was reserved to the kings of the East. Mucuna is celebrated in Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) because it contains L-dopa which works with the area of the brain that experiences emotions and sensations of pleasure. With increased dopamine comes a delicious mood boost that in the evening means you will experience more vivid dreams and deeper sleep. Consuming both these within this sacred hour before bed can increase your sleep quality, manage stress levels and increase your over-all wellbeing.
Our recipe for a bedtime reishi-mucuna drink:
In your favourite mug, mix ½ tsp of reishi and ½ tsp of mucuna with 2 tsp of cacao, 1 tsp maple syrup (or honey) and a ¼ of a cup of boiling water. Warm up (or even better – froth) your favourite milk (we love oat or cashew milk) and pour over your mixture. Slowly enjoy as you go about your evening.
These tips can have an enhanced benefit when combined together to form a bedtime routine. So that over-time your body will see these activities as pre-sleep activities and get used to recognising them. This can have incredible effects on your everyday life because let’s face it, it all starts with how you wake up in the morning.