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  • Writer's pictureAnne-Marie Rose

Holistic Approaches To Sleep




Improving sleep quality is crucial for overall well-being. Here are some holistic practices that you can incorporate into your routine to promote better sleep:


Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

  • This helps regulate your body's internal clock and improves the quality of your sleep over time.


Create a Relaxing Bedtime Ritual:

  • Develop calming pre-sleep activities, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing gentle stretching or yoga.

  • Avoid stimulating activities and electronics close to bedtime.

Optimize Your Sleep Environment:

  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.

  • Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.

  • Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs, or white noise if needed.


Limit Screen Time Before Bed:

  • Reduce exposure to screens (phones, tablets, computers) at least an hour before bedtime.

  • The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.


Mindful Breathing and Meditation:

  • Practice deep breathing exercises or meditation to calm the mind.

  • Mindfulness techniques can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.


Herbal Teas for Relaxation:

  • Consider drinking calming herbal teas like chamomile or valerian root in the evening.

  • Avoid caffeine-containing beverages in the hours leading up to bedtime.


Limit Stimulants and Heavy Meals:

  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine in the hours before bedtime.

  • Don't consume heavy meals close to bedtime, instead, opt for a light snack if needed.


Regular Exercise:

  • Engage in regular physical activity, but try to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.

  • Exercise promotes better sleep, but doing it too close to bedtime can be too stimulating.


Limit Naps:

  • If you need to nap, keep it short (20-30 minutes) and avoid napping late in the day.

  • Long or late-afternoon naps can interfere with nighttime sleep.


Manage Stress:

  • Practice stress management techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery or journaling.

  • Consider incorporating activities that bring you joy and relaxation into your daily routine.


Use Aromatherapy:

  • Experiment with calming scents like lavender or chamomile using essential oils or diffusers (note - do not use diffusers and oils around pets as this can be harmful).

  • These scents may help create a peaceful and relaxing sleep environment.


Limit Liquid Intake Before Bed:

  • Reduce the consumption of liquids in the evening to minimize the likelihood of waking up for bathroom trips during the night. Instead sip water slowly throughout the day and have an evening cut off time re further liquids.


Get Exposure to Natural Light:

  • Spend time outdoors during the day, especially in the morning. Don't forget your Factor 30+ sunscreen during when it is sunny or wear sunscreen daily if you have had a previous skin cancer diagnosis.

  • Exposure to natural light helps regulate your body's circadian rhythm.


Consider Sleep-Friendly Supplements:

  • Consult with a healthcare professional before considering any supplements.

  • You may benefit from supplements like melatonin or magnesium, but their use should be personalized.


Remember - it may take some time for these practices to have a noticeable impact on sleep quality. Consistency is key, and it's essential to find a combination of strategies that work best for your individual needs and lifestyle. If sleep problems persist, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional.


I hope the above tips are helpful - do let me know what works for you! Complementary therapies such as massage and reflexology also promote a good nights sleep so do also consider this if you are currently struggling with your sleep or if you would like to incorporate further ideas into your sleep rituals.


 

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