Did you open this
newsletter because you always do or because of the ‘look younger’ in the
We are an odd species, aren’t we? From what I’ve read, the promise of
improving our looks (assuming 'looking younger' is an improvment) is more
attention grabbing than improving our mental state or relationships.
If you read last week’s issue, you know the answer to
all three is sleep.
This week’s focus is on the details of encouraging a good sleep, focusing
specifically on the 30-60 minutes prior to shutting your eyes for the night.
The list is long. Only choose a few that are easy to implement and come with
the biggest payoff. In a short time, those will be habit, taking very little
time and effort, and giving you a more youthful look, smarts and the energy
to be a better friend.
This is a perfect weekend to create new sleep rituals. On Sunday morning, those living in
daylight savings time get a bonus hour of sleep. Also
remember to check and/or change the batteries on your smoke detector.
Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies
If you have difficulty sleeping or are not getting enough sleep or sleep of
good quality, you need to learn the basics of sleep hygiene, make appropriate
changes, and possibly consult a sleep expert.
1. Set an imaginary
alarm. This one was huge for me: I set a mental alarm clock
for when it is time to start my bedtime routine. Below is my ideal. If I do
it five days out of a week, that would be an exceptional/never been done
before week. As is life – it’s a work in progress.
At 9 pm (I’m an early to bed, early to rise kind of gal), I check my calendar
and shut off my computer, then head for the kitchen to tidy it up (I love
waking up to a clean kitchen). On my way from the kitchen to the bedroom, I
do a quick tidy of the house (there is only two of us so this, in theory,
shouldn’t take long).
None of this is directly related to sleep but it starts the ‘closing of the
2. Turn off
electronics 30-60 minutes before bed.
3. Have a cup of chamomile
or lavender tea. Many people are dehydrated and will have a
poorer sleep because of the long stretch with no fluids. Adjust the amount so
you don’t need to get up in the night to use the bathroom.
4.Do light stretching, deep breathing or mediation to quiet the mind and
relax the body.
5. Use heat and/or
weight to relax. Our Ultra Shoulder Wrap would be great while
reading and Ultra Warming/CoolingBlanket for sleep.
Some people do better when socks are worn to bed.
6. Take a hot bath
with Epsom salts (most of us are magnesium deficient the main
ingredient of epsom salts. Magnesium helps with relaxation and sleep). It
needn’t take much time – about 12 minutes was one recommendation (wonder why
it isn’t 10 or 15 minutes?), with 2 cups of the salt added to a standard tub.
7. Put on pajamas
that you like. If your night clothes used to be your gym
clothes, splurge for something that feels good to wear.
8. Do not keep your
phone by your bed and preferably remove from the bedroom (I
haven’t even attempted this one. Have you?).
9. Have bed cleaned
off, even of pets.
10.Read a book. The
old-fashioned paper kind. It should be a good book but not so
good that you can’t put it down. Nor should it be a work-related book
that will engage your work-brain.
11. Have a journal
or a notebook for tracking such things as a few gratitudes,
worries, or things you don’t want to forget to do the next day.
12. Have the bedroom
as dark as possible. Or wear an eye mask.
13. Have it cool
(15-19 degrees C / 60-67 degrees F).
14. Use earplugs.
15. Use auditory
relaxation - white noise, music, nature sounds, autonomous
sensory meridian response (ASMR).
16. Listen to a
talking book. Set the timer so the book will shut off. The
purpose here isn’t to listen to the book as it is to allow the voice send you
17. Have a quality
mattress and pillow.
18. Check your
sleeping position. Back and side is best. Tummy sleeping
stresses the neck and jaw.
P.S. If you would like the websites I used as background for this series, please email me.