Today is World Sleep Day, (my first time hearing about this) an event created in 2008 by the World Association of Sleep Medicine and is intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving. At this time over 45% of the world’s population experience problems falling asleep…and I’m one of them.
Over the years I’ve had many issues falling asleep. I would say on average I get about four hours of uninterruppted sleep every night. To be honest, I don’t know what it feels like to get the recommended eight hours of sleep unless I’m sick, which isn’t too often. I remember growing up watching my mother stay up all night. Usually it was because she was under stress or working through the night doing hair or sewing for clients after working an eight hour day on her job. I actually felt sorry for my mother and I know that she had to give up sleep to make sure we had food on the table; so I would say that was my first introduction to any form of a sleep disorder.
I didn’t actually experience any form of sleep disorder in my personal life until I became a flight attendant in 1998 and after that, my sleep habits totally changed. It felt like insomnia was something I was just going to have accept and even after I stopped flying in 2002, I still had issues having a good night sleep. Although I have been able to function for years on a few hours of sleep, over a period of time I started to notice a few things start to happen to me. For example, my personality began to change, my skin looked dull and I saw more wrinkles, I started to forget things, felt paranoid at times and my overall performance in different areas of my life seemed lackluster. Not getting enough rest can also affect your health and I wasn’t about the add this to the already long list of things I was currently dealing with, so I had to do something.
Recently, I took a self-assessment of my life to see what patterns I could find and to see how I could focus on getting quality sleep on a daily basis while make some positive changes. In addition to removing some of the stress from my life, changing my eating habits and exercising; these Savvy Seven Tips for getting a good night sleep have been working for me and I hope they work for you too.
Turn off the devices at least 1 hour before going to bed– the blue light glowing in your eyes from electronic devices is keeping your brain working over time, that’s why its difficult to fall a sleep after working on your computers and using your smart phones. (So turn them off)
Drink Tea – Caffeine-free herbal tea definitely has a calming affect on the body and its not loaded with sugar or calories. (I like Chamomile tea)
Mediation/Breathing – Learning to block the events of the day and and focusing on something positive helps me. I also find that adding deep breathing relaxes me as well. (Inhale and Exhale)
Music: Instrumental music or recordings of natural sounds like waves or rain is so soothing. You can find great music on Youtube, buy nature CD’s or just go to the beach and make your own recordings.
Aromatherapy – Essential oils like Lavender will relax you at night. Breath in a little by placing some on your pillowcase or in a humidifier. (A little bit goes a long way)
Warm bath – My company Liquid Lounge was created because of the effects of a warm bath. After a long day this is a great way to unwind and will relax your mind, body and soul. (light a candle for a peaceful spa experience)
Keep the room dark – Our bodies know it’s time to sleep when it’s dark. So try to keep your room as dark as possible and if that doesn’t work try a pair of eyeshades. (make sure you cover all ambient lights that glow from clocks or other devices)
What steps do you take to fall asleep a night?