It is extremely important that we take care of ourselves. Are we meeting our basic needs of food, exercise, personal hygiene and sleep? For me, I find I may occasionally skip a meal, deprive myself of nighttime sleep and/or skip out on my daily exercise routine. I need to challenge myself to do more to take care of myself.
My intention this week is to really examine areas in my life where I feel deprived. What do I need more and/or less of? What do I really want at this time in my life? Joy and gratitude are a large part of my life; however, there is a hint of a feeling that I need something more. I believe I am craving a more structure and routine. And, I would like to find a way to create this for myself in such a way that I will stick with it.
As organized as I am in many aspects of my life, there is room for growth. I still feel periods of overwhelm, which can be eliminated through organization, structure and routine. There is so much I want to do and accomplish. And, I wish to do it all without depriving myself of my needs.
I challenge you to do this with me. Let us look at our lives together. What do we need more or less of? I am going to examine my projects and chores, my needs, my time and create a daily/weekly plan. This seems like a great way to start off my week. I will check back with you tomorrow.
Sleep deprivation is NOT RECOMMENDED. So, why do we keep doing it! Give yourself the gift of a good night’s sleep. You will be more productive, healthier and happier because of it. Sleep is necessary for your body and spirit to rejuvenate, heal and work out daily concerns through dreaming. You can chase the blues or listlessness away just by going to sleep 30 minutes earlier for a week.
These good habits will ensure a good sleep:
- Exercise most days, even if it is just to take a walk.
- No caffeine 4 to 5 hours before your bedtime.
- An hour before bedtime, avoid any work that requires concerted thinking like crossword puzzles or analyzing an article. Meditative, repetitive activities such as addressing envelopes, doodling or crocheting are fine.
- Adjust your bedroom temperature to be slightly chilly.
- Keep your bedroom dark. It has been reported in research studies that even the light from a digital alarm clock can disrupt a sleep cycle.
- Keep your bedroom as neat as possible to eliminate having to fight chaos to get to bed.
If you are having trouble getting to sleep here are ten foods that can help:
- Chamomile Tea
- Miso Soup
- Dairy regular or fat-free (Yogurt, Milk, Cheese)
- Hard-Cooked Eggs
- Cereal (low sugar, whole-grain)
Here are some other tips to help you get drowsy:
- Breathe deeply and slowly…in through your nose and out through your mouth clearing any thoughts visualizing something calm like a pristine lake.
- If your mind is cluttered with thoughts and concerns, write down what is on your mind…maybe into a journal.
- Pamper yourself with lotion; if it is lavender or vanilla scented, that is even better.
- If your feet are cold, put on socks.
- Wiggle and stretch your toes several times.
- Stretch your whole body.
- Use aromatherapy. Lavender, Chamomile, Jasmine or Vanilla are great scents to use.
Here are 7 tips from the Mayo Clinic:
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Get to bed and rise at the same time everyday, even on weekends.
- Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed as the discomfort will interfere with sleep. Be mindful of the fluids you consume before bedtime; and, avoid caffeine, nicotine, and/or alcohol.
- Create a bedtime ritual. Do the same things each night to tell your body it’s time to wind down, which might include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music — preferably with the lights dimmed. Avoid television watching or the use of other electronic devices before bedtime because it can interfere with sleep.
- Get comfortable. Cool, dark, and quiet rooms are best. Make certain that your mattress and pillows are comfortable; and you have enough room if you share your bed with a partner. If you have pets or children, set limits on how often they sleep with you.
- Limit daytime naps. Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you need daytime sleep as part of your work routine, make sure the room is dark and sleep is uninterrupted.
- Include physical activity in your daily routine, early in the day. Do not do physical exercise 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
- Manage stress. Meditate. Organize. Write in a journal as you need.
Here are a few more great sites to go to for more sleep tips.
SleepFoundation.org: HEALTHY SLEEP TIPS
Well.com: INSOMNIA? 42 SIMPLE TIPS
SpineHealth.com: 11 UNCONVENTIONAL SLEEP TIPS