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Healthy Sleep Habits for Everyone.

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

We all want a good night's sleep, but many of us struggle to either fall asleep or stay asleep. Sometimes we may rely on medicine, alcohol or drugs to help us sleep. Read on and watch the video below on 15 of the BEST holistic tips on how to have the sleep of your dreams.

Why is it so important to have a good night's rest?

"Additionally, lack of sleep has been linked to a higher risk for certain diseases and medical conditions. These include obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, poor mental health, and early death."

Since this is such a chronic and widespread issue of high importance, how do we get the sleep we need to be happy and healthy?

Here are 15 solid tips on how to fall asleep and stay asleep, naturally.

Steps 1-5: We KNOW these, they've been drilled into our brains, but they definitely set the stage for a good night's rest. You deserve to wake up feeling refreshed, so give 1-3 a go for old time's sake.

  1. ROUTINE: Aiming to establish a routine of APPROXIMATELY when you go to bed and setting an alarm for when you wake up is essential to set your body's own natural rhythm. Do you remember when you set the clocks back and come morning those kids woke up at 5:30? BECAUSE to them, it was still 6:30 and their bodies were saying it's time to wake up and get the show on the road!

  2. ENVIRONMENT: They have this saying at school that the environment is the third teacher as it is functional, beautiful and reflects a child's learning. Well, the same is true for the bedroom or sleep space. You want an environment that is dark, comfortable, and organized. You want to avoid the light so that your body is able to produce melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep.

  3. TEMPERATURE: It is nearly impossible to sleep if you are hot, I feel you. Sleeping in a cooler room around 18 degrees celsius is ideal.

  4. LIMIT TECH: Argh I know-put away the technology! But what about the new season of Yellowstone? Slap on some blue light glasses and forget about this step tonight;)

  5. Limit caffeine, big meals and alcohol before bed. This is a toughy for some as a small glass of red wine really gets those eye lids bobbing. Try having that glass with dinner instead. During your episode of Yellowstone, grab a herbal tea, preferably with chamomile, lavender or valerian root or passionflower.

Steps 5-10 Pre-Bed Activities: Let's Get Sleepy!

5. Restorative Yoga:

  • Reclined butterfly (supta baddha konasana): Lie on your back. Press the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall to the side. You can have your hands at your sides or above your head. Place two pillows under your knees for support.

  • Legs up the wall (viparita karani): Place a mat near a wall. Lie on your back with your legs against a wall so that your body makes an “L.” Relax your arms at your sides. Use a pillow under your bottom, another to support your head and lay a heavy blanket over your midsection if this feels comfortable for you.

Supported Supta Baddha Konasana

6. HOT BATH: Believe it or not, a hot bath timed appropriately approximately an hour and half before bed can actually help lower your body temperature and help you get to sleep 10 minutes faster!

7. GOOD BOOK: Try bringing a book in the bath with you for the ultimate relaxation experience. Unplugging and taking your mind off of the day helps set the stage for a quieter and calmer mind. Be mindful of what you are reading or watching before tucking in for the night. You want bedtime to be a positive experience.

8. MINDFULNESS: Grounding yourself in the Present Moment. Mindfulness is getting a lot of attention these days and for a good reason. Being mindful isn't about getting rid of thoughts but rather accepting feelings and thoughts without judgement. A concept worth exploring is the idea that we are not our minds or our bodies, we are the ones who notice them. Have you ever noticed how often your mind will narrate everything it experiences? Do you find yourself wandering back to the past, yesterday or even that morning? Or perhaps planning for your day tomorrow, worrying about how you finish certain tasks or get from point A to Point B? The point is that if we focus our attention on the present moment, we can fully experience it for what it is. This is calming and liberating.

9. AFFIRMATIONS: How about we affirm what we want to experience as opposed to letting the momentum of life decide for us? Intend to have a great sleep, feel happy and rested and expect it to be so. That is the recipe for a good affirmation.

I have the best, most restful sleep. It feels good to wake up with a lot of energy to start my day.

Steps 11-15: It's time to get cozy in bed!

11. JOURNALING: Having a journal beside your bed when you first get snuggled in lets you release what you are carrying inside of you and release it on the page outside of you. You don't need to carry your day with you anymore.

Today, I fell from Grace when... I forgive myself. Next time I will... I am grateful for... Tomorrow I will do three things for myself. They are:

12. DEEP BREATHING / PRANAYAMA: Your breath is your life force. Control your breathing helps you to calm your nervous system. Some breathing techniques generate heat like ujjayi, some balance you like alternate nostril, others increase lung capacity like bellows. Overall, breathing intentionally reduces stress and helps you sleep better. My absolute favourite is a combination of bellows breath, breathing deeply and quickly 30 times followed by breath retention. I also enjoy breath of fire when I am feeling anxious.

Here's a breathing exercise to try:

13. YOGA NIDRA: yogic sleep or conscious sleep involves deeply resting in savasana while participating in a guided meditiation. Through some breathwork, taking inventory of your physical body and ultimately going through steps to calm the mind, you find yourself balanced between a state of wakefulness and sleep.

Here is an example here:

14. MEDITATION: Like mindfulness, the goal isn't to stop thinking. A lot of us think that if we don't stop thinking, we are doing it wrong somehow. Let that go. The goal is to calm the mind, not shut it off completely.

"Meditation bridges the connection between your mind and your body, making it a useful tool for bettering your overall health and wellness, particularly when it comes to chronic pain, depression, and anxiety."

If you meditate in the morning or during the day, it is nice to find a comfortable seat with a neutral spine, rolling your shoulders back and down and settle in.

However, it is time to rest, so get comfy.

Picture yourself in the middle of a blue sky.

Take notice of how your body feels.

Make the deliberate intention to relax your body.

WHEN thoughts arise, notice them, thank them and put them in a cloud to be carried away. It is important to remember that thoughts will be present no matter what and we don't need to label them as good or as bad, they just are.

Accept them, and release them.

Try meditating for 5 minutes. After a week or two, try 10 minutes. Then 15 minutes, and finally 20 minutes. Don't push yourself, just meet yourself where you are. Accept yourself where you are. One step at a time. Keep it simple.

15. NATURE SOUNDS: I love my relax melodies app and I never fall asleep without it! I can choose which sounds to fall asleep to and even select a meditation if I need it. I often never finish the meditation before I am off to dreamland. The beauty is that when it finishes, my sleepy nature sounds are still there and no other meditation picks up and starts playing like on YouTube.

These strategies have helped me tremendously to get out of my head and stop relying on prescriptions to help me sleep. I hope you can use some of them today to get the sleep you deserve so you too can have a days full of energy and joy!

Much love & gratitude.

Yours in community,


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