Last week we talked about how to manage shifts in schedule for reduced pain and tension. This week we will highlight how to set yourself up for sleep success despite longer days, the sun setting later and possible interruptions with alcohol from holiday events and barbecues. There is a ton of research out there now mentioning the benefits of a good nights rest. From the pain perspective some that are helpful to you are less tension and stress, improved balance of hormones, improved healing, reduced inflammation just to name a few…. Here are some tips to help you have a good night’s sleep.
Here are some tips:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate keep up with your water intake. During summer there are many dehydrating factors- sun, sweat, alcohol, travel. If you are dehydrated this can throw off your sleep rhythm and cause insomnia. If you are feeling more wired then normal, try uping water intake and just slightly lowering caffeine and sugar.
- Try to maintain your normal bed routine as much as possible despite travel, and/or shifts to schedule. For example my bed routine involves yoga/gentle stretching for 15 min or so, shutting down all electronics, reading a book to my daughter and putting her to bed, and then reading a book myself. Despite being being on the road for business travel, camping or just staying outside playing with family longer than normal we still try to do this same routine. It primes the body and mind for sleep since it’s a familiar routine.
- Sleep in a dark setting. Try adding blackout curtains or other items to reduce the ambient summer light.
- Use essential oils: lavender, vetiver, cedarwood, tranquil blend are all really helpful prior to sleep. Or keep on a nightstand in case you wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty falling back to sleep.
- Try a bath with essential oils the warm water, and soothing atmosphere combined with essential oils will switch the nervous system from fight and flight (aka no sleep) to rest and digest which then makes it easier to sleep
- If your mind is really running try doing a brain dump on paper before sleeping. Sometimes what you actually NEED is a good nights rest to solve a problem or see a solution from a different perspective. If you write things down before sleep you don’t have to worry about forgetting them- don’t worry it will all be there in the morning when you wake up. In fact when you wake up you may look at what you wrote and realize it wasn’t such a big problem anyways.
There you have it some tips to help sleep better this summer. Stay tuned for next week where we will talk about summer stress reducing tips.