“Yo-yo”ing between little to no sleep can be frustrating, unproductive and draining both physically and mentally. We’ve all been there at some point, making it worse with the anxiety of knowing we’re supposed to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Whether your sleep is hit by insomnia, children or pressure at work, here are sure shot ways to take back your night and sleep soundly.
1. No Really, Cut Your Caffeine
This is not new, but maybe you thought you were immune from this rule because you don’t feel jittery before bed. Well, the caffeine from your afternoon cup of coffee or tea is staying with you longer than you might think. Everyone’s cut off time is different, so say no to caffeine after noon and when hit by the urge for something warm try herbal tea. What’s even better at helping you stay awake and focused is meditation. Try Keith Allen’s 15-minute Meditate and Cultivate Calm. The happy hormones released during meditation will set you up for a goodnight's sleep later.
2. End Work On Time
This is a big one. We’re all participants in the modern 24/7/365 economy. Even when we are not working, we’re working. Poor sleep doesn't happen overnight (even though it does), it may be the result of late nights at your desk, or big deadlines ahead. Does your salary pay you enough to justify restless sleep, or no sleep at all? We didn’t think so. Allocate your workload so that you can finish early enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Make a commitment to an after work activity, sign up for a special yoga challenge, take a photography walk in the evening. Your work, and your sleep, will only get better if you can share your headspace with something different.
3. No Electronics Before Bed
Even better, no screens in the bedroom. The light and stimulation from TV and phones is keeping your brain buzzing when the rest of you is not. What’s more important than being up to date on your Instagram or Facebook feed? Sleep! Yoga teaches us to simplify, so start by disconnecting from technology and logging off your mind the old fashioned way. Check in with yourself via Erin Wimert’s relaxing Bedtime Yin with Body Scan to close the browser tabs in your brain one by one.
4. Keep A Regular Bedtime Routine
Make it a point to be in bed at the same time every night. Make it earlier than feels appropriate for someone your age. Yes, young, hip go getters can benefit from a 10pm bedtime. Your body will reward you by releasing hormones at the right time to make you feel sleepy. Create a bedtime routine where you read a calming book, wind down listening to soothing music, or embrace a gentle Yoga Nidra practice and keep it consistent so your body and mind learn these as signals that it’s time to sleep. Try Nighttime Nidra with Denelle Numis right before you head hits the pillow.
Start prioritizing your sleep in your lifestyle, and the quality zzzzzs will follow. With better sleep comes a better outlook and better opportunities ahead.
Sign up for the specialized Yoga For Better Sleep program and get 11 custom created classes to help you sleep better than you ever have!
1. Pranayama for Better Sleep - Maria Garre
2. Yoga for a Good Night's Sleep - Elise Fabricant
3. Nighttime Nidra - Denelle Numis
4. Therapeutic Yoga for Stress, Anxiety, & Insomnia - Shy Sayar
5. Bedtime Yin with Body Scan - Erin Wimert
6. Tibetan Yoga Nidra - Shy Sayar
7. Intro to Yoga Nidra - Erin Wimert
8. Yoga for Better Sleep - Jackie Casal Mahrou
9. Meditate and Cultivate Calm - Keith Allen
10. Yoga Nidra - Celest Pereira
11. Daily Decompression - Jackie Casal Mahrou
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