Steal These Habits For A Good Night's Sleep

Last week, I challenged you to make some special time for yourself when you wake. I loved reading everyone's comments on the diverse and unique ways of rising in the morn. So now let's jump ahead fourteen or so hours and get ready for bed…How you get ready for bed is just as important as how you wake up, if not more. However, ending the day with letting everything go from the past, present and future can often be the most difficult task you face all day. Finding ways to calm your mind and let your body fully recover and restore as you sleep is of vital importance for your health and well being.

Here are a few ways to get a good night's sleep:

Let It Go: Try to stop thinking about what happened that day or what is to come tomorrow. It's time to let yourself relax, so you can be well equipped to face another day. All of your concerns and lists will still be there when you wake (I promise) so say screw it and take a break from it all every night; it's your time.

Tune Out: No big brain activities during wind down time. Let your mind relax and begin to get sleepy.

Stop The Stress: You want your cortisol levels to go down, not up, before you go to bed. So no fighting or worrying or getting into activities or conversations that might rile you up. Your body has a rhythmic clock for a reason; let it do its thing and stay out of the way. Try meditating for ten minutes to truly wind down.

Begin Your Fast: You fast every night, all night until you wake. It allows your body to repair itself and not focus on digestion and creating energy to keep you moving. Not eating four hours before bed will set your body up for its nightly work and help you rest better.

Electronic Free Zone: No electronics in the bedroom. That goes for tvs, computers, iPads or phones. It is a place for rest and sex and should be kept that way.

And here are my top five ways to wind down:

1. A nice hot bath with Epsom Salts, lavender oil and candles in the winter.
2. Fifteen minutes of meditating in bed.
3. Reading in bed.
4. A glass of wine, or herbal tea and a movie. (Not in bed. I know this contradicts the above, but it works for me :)
5. Light stretching, quick restorative yoga session, or a relaxing neighborhood walk.

So now let's see how you all wind down at night. Share away.

(Image: Bethany Nauert/Joshua's Vintage Daydream)

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Main, Homekeeping, Healthy Living

Alysha is a photographer and designer living in Seattle who loves dark chocolate, tea, and all things furry. In her spare time you'll find her with paint in her hair renovating her 1919 Craftsman and sharing the process on her blog Old House New Tricks.

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