sleepHello!  Hope you're having a lovely day!  Let's talk about sleep.  Raise your hand if you feel you get enough sleep.  Now, raise your hand if you feel your sleep could be improved on some level. I have a feeling that most people raised their hands for the latter.  Don't get me wrong, my sleep isn't perfect 100% all of the time, but usually I feel well rested when I wake up, and that energy normally lasts until I hit the pillow that evening. A good nights sleep is soooo important, right?  It is when our bodies heal, regenerate, recharge, and restore.  Imagine what happens when we don't sleep enough/well?  Fatigue starts to set it, clarity can be lost, our appetites can change dramatically, our skin can look dull, and not to mention our emotions.  Hello, mood swings!

Regardless of how the lack of sleep effects you, here are 9 simple tips that have helped me get a good night's sleep:

  1. Exercise!  I personally like to exercise in the morning, but in the past I have worked out before bed, and expelling all that energy in the evening really helps to hit the pillow at night.
  2. Have a cup of chamomile or Kava tea about an hour before you want to sleep.
  3. Meditation and/or mantras.  I like to do a quick meditation while in bed, before I go to sleep.  Usually this really helps, but if for some reason I wake in the middle of the night, I do it again.  A mantra that I like to repeat (similar to counting sheep), is "I am peace, I am peace, I am peace..."
  4. Drinking enough water throughout the day, but cutting back the last hour before bed.
  5. How's your diet?  Check how different foods and drinks effect you (sugar, alcohol, meat, gluten, soy, dairy, etc.), and decrease your caffeine intake, especially after 4PM.
  6. Check how you're sleeping.  Sleeping on your back is optimal, with one pillow under your neck and one under your knees.
  7. Lights out!  Eliminate all the lights, including the TV, phones, etc., as this increases your brains activity.
  8. Sleep when you're tired!  This was a big one for me, as I have a "do it all and get it all done" personality.  If you're tired and able to take a nap during the day, do it.  If you're sleepy at 8PM, go to bed!  Trust me, you can get it done tomorrow.
  9. While I am not a doctor, a few natural supplements that have helped me with restless nights are: magnesium, valerian root, and melatonin.

zzzzI hope you all have a great day and a magical weekend.  Now go catch some zzzzz's!  :)

xo.  Jen