Are You Resting or Just Sleeping?
Ways to achieve tranquil slumber for overall wellness
Have you ever went to sleep only to wake up feeling like you were up all night? Your body is tired, brain foggy and you're in a bad mood because you have a full day ahead but didn't get a good night's sleep and don't know how you will make it through. If any of this sounds familiar to you, you may be sleeping but not getting proper rest.
Quality sleep is crucial to your overall wellness, but it means so much more than getting the recommended eight hours of sleep every night. Falling asleep is allowing your body to be at rest but actually resting includes your entire being -- mentally and spiritually -- aside from just your physical body. Once you get a taste of what it feels like to be fully rested on a consistent basis you will continue to maintain the steps that can help you achieve complete rest in order to rejuvenate your health, mental state, and overall well-being.
Try incorporating some of these routines one hour before bed:
1. Put your phone on DND & place it at least 4-6 ft. away from you
We are constantly using our cell phones as well as other electronics such as laptops, televisions, and other devices that can cause mental and physical exhaustion which also puts a strain on our eyes and our mental state. Too much time on our screen leads to overstimulation and makes it harder to wind down to fall asleep, causing sleep deprivation. A solution to setting boundaries around your cell phone and electronic use to ensure proper rest at night is to turn off the tv, shut down your laptop and put your phone on Do Not Disturb at least one hour before bedtime. If you are worried that putting a restriction on your phone will keep you from receiving important calls or text, you can adjust your settings to have your ringer on for specific contacts in your phone only while still maintaining restricted access overall. Doing this simple step can help you unplug and calm your mind.
2. Keep a gratitude list
Before bed, write out a list of several things you are grateful for that day. The list can be as long or as short as you would like but practicing gratitude is known to uplift your mood, decrease stress levels, and improve the state of your mental health. Giving thanks right before bed releases dopamine and serotonin which makes you feel good from within, fueling the proper state to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
3. Drink chamomile tea
If you're anything like me, tea is already a staple in your kitchen. Getting up to start the day? Hot tea. Just came home from a stressful day at work? Hot tea. Getting ready to go to bed and need something to soothe you? Chamomile tea. Chamomile tea is filled with flavonoids that release a calming and sedative effect and is often used to help treat insomnia. Grab a hot cup 45 minutes prior to bed and see if its effects work on you.
4. Mindful pray or meditation
If prayer is your source of peace, you know that rest come from God. Take a few minutes to look up what the Bible says about rest, read a few verses and pray about receiving this type of rest in your body, mind, and spirit. Alternatively, get into a meditative quiet state, put on some peaceful affirmations or rain sounds and allow your mind to release the day's anxiety and stress.
5. Light stretching
We tend to think that any physical activity of the body right before bed will cause us to stay awake but on the contrary, engaging in some light stretching can release tension held within your body and can loosen up your muscles and improve blood flow to cause your body to relax. Stretching before bed can help rejuvenate your body while you are sleeping.
6. Diffuse Hibernate Pure Oil Blend by Perfect Blue Alchemy or spray their Hibernate Body & Room Spray on your pillows, bed sheets, and comforters or on the pressure points of your wrists and neck to help lull you to sleep. Their body & room sprays are filled with only plant-derived essences that can be worn as perfume throughout the day or evening, but each one of their fragrances have a therapeutic benefit as well. Their Hibernate fragrances combine rose, sandalwood, frankincense, and a lavender base which is the perfect combination because lavender is known for its effects on achieving a good night's rest.
7. Take a warm bath or shower
Soaking in the bathtub or taking a warm shower is not only essential to your hygienic routine, it is calming and can help the production of melatonin. The warm temperature of the water helps stimulate blood circulation from your internal core to the peripheral sites of the hands and feet. This effect can actually help remove your body heat and assist in the temperature of your body decreasing, signaling your pineal gland to produce melatonin which helps improve sleep as well as supports the function of your immunity, cortisol levels and blood pressure.
Have any of these worked for you? What are some other ways you've achieved a good night of (restful) sleep?