Sanctuary is something you can create. In as little as 15 minutes you can create a sleep ritual that will soothe you into deeper, more restful sleep. Even if we can't increase the hours we sleep, we can still make sleep better.
- Make it cozy: Temperature. Temperature can be tricky. Try different combinations of room temperature and blankets. A fan and a sheet is perfect for some, while others dig lots of AC and a down comforter. Play with different combos and write down the results. Sleep science!
- Relaxing surroundings: Sound. Ambient noise is something we can't always control. Car alarms, neighbors, too much silence...There are a variety of free sound apps that have relaxing sounds that can be used on timers. I love these when I am having trouble winding down. (Hint: I also have a Sleep Sheep for one of my kiddos.)
- Nerves all over: Touch. Your skin in the largest organ and one of the most sensitive. What touches us in our bed matters. Make the change to cotton for bedding and you won't be sad. Cotton helps regulate temperature and provides a smooth tactile experience for the skin.
- In through your nose: Smell. Plenty of people use diffusers in their bedrooms to bathe the olfactory in gentle essential oils. On occasion I will mist my bedroom with a hydrosol of gardenia. However, I much prefer to throw all the windows open about a half hour before bed - when I shut them (weather depending). A fresh bedroom can do wonders for the oxygen level.
- There is something to be said for it: Routine. You know how "bath-book-bed" can be kiddo magic? What's your routine? Even a ten minute mini-ritual can reduce cortisol levels and prepare the body for deeper slumber.
- But I don't want to: Power down. I know, I love scrolling in bed. I really do. But all the science in the entire world tells you that the brain can't handle the light or simulation and still be a happy sleepy brain. Try this: Create a plug station on the other side of the bedroom. Test it for a week and see if your sleep improves. I know mine did!
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