Today’s blog topic is one that many of you really connected with on a recent podcast we did with sleep expert Dr. Kirk Parsley. I am looking forward to answering some of your questions that came in on creating an ideal sleeping routine (whether you are preggo or not!).
Sleep is SO important in the Beauty Detox Lifestyle as it plays a key role in you looking and feeling your best. Many of us are so busy, we often feel that we can skimp on sleep in order to get ahead in other areas. I want to remind you that sleep is essential to creating the life you desire. When your body is well rested, you are not only able to function better, but you will be amazed at how much more efficient you are in the tasks you perform.
Time to get right into it. Here are some of my top tips for creating a relaxing sleep routine…
Tip #1: Turn Off Your Electronics: One of the key themes we talked about on the podcast I referred to above was giving yourself enough time to relax and calm down before going to sleep. You want to be able to create separation from work and sleep. It is really important to stop using all electronics at least an hour before going to bed. In reality, I know we will all do a final check on our phones before turning in, but do try to keep it a few seconds versus starting a new search or writing an email you can surely put off until tomorrow.
If you are still checking work emails or scrolling on Facebook right before you turn in for the night, your body does not have time to calm down from all the stimulation from the day. If you have trouble falling asleep this will be especially helpful for you, as creating too much stimulation before bed can stir up things in our mind which leads us to not be able to drift off to sleep easily.
Tip #2: Create an Oral and Facial Care Routine: This one may seem like common sense but it is a critical part of an ideal sleep routine. You want to make sure you always take the time to remove your make up and wash away the day, whether it be a relaxing shower or just washing your face thoroughly. When you put you head on your pillow, you want to have as fresh and clean of an environment as possible. You skin needs to be able to breathe and creating that time while you are sleeping is ideal.
Also I have been talking a lot lately about the importance of having a good oral care routine. I have been learning in my Ayurvedic studies about the processes they use for creating a morning routine. I highlight many of the principles here on how to create your own Ayurvedic oral care routine at home!
Tip #3: Read a book: I always read daily (even if it’s only time for a few pages!), whether it be new studies or new information that I can offer to you. But I make it a point when I go to sleep to take a little time to read something that is just for me. Me reading! No serious stuff. A fun read.
I am currently reading My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout. I also recently read Olive Kitteridge which is also by Elizabeth Strout and I really enjoyed it. I often reread spiritual writings from Paramahansa Yogananda, who has little books on specific subjects and books full of essays alike, which help to keep me rooted throughout the busy weeks. Reading is a great way to calm the mind, and unlike TV, doesn’t emit stimulating lights. If you are not currently reading something for fun, my tip is to find a cute local little bookstore, and try to cruise by during your lunch break, after work, or this weekend so you can find a few great bedtime reads!
Tip #5: Use Essential Oils: Essential oils have a definition effect on your brain. I did a whole podcast about this also. Scent works to calm you down! You can use a relaxing scent like lavender to help you drift off to sleep. I like to put a few drops on my pillow before I go to sleep. Or I just sniff the open bottle of it while I’m reading. Another great scent that is amazing for sleep support is ylang-ylang. If it’s too potent, you can pair it with something lighter like a citrus oil to lift that heavy floral aroma, but it does very well at bedtime.
Patchouli is another one that is known to help us with relaxation and it’s nice, earthy, deep aroma. If it reminds you too much of a 70’s hippy vibe, maybe pair it with a citrus oil like mandarin orange :). It’s very relaxing. For many years, it has been called the “man’s alternative to lavender” because men respond well with these earthier aromas. It has the same effect of lavender does but it’s not a floral, kind of “girlysmell” that some dudes can be turned off by!
For more on this topic, check out my amazing podcast on the benefits of essential oils and how to use them.
Tip #5 Start a Meditation Practice: Meditation is a spiritual practice that’s been around for thousands of years and is becoming universally lauded and used by people in all walks of life. Extensive studies have proven its many benefits, from reducing stress, increasing positive thoughts and emotions, and even reducing the likelihood of heart disease. With most individuals, the challenge is simply not knowing how beneficial meditation can be.
Meditation works, and most of us know that.
On one popular website and app, meditation is actually the #1 habit that people say they want to develop. The real challenge is in two areas: 1) knowing how to meditate…and 2) finding the time to meditate and still get the desired benefits.
Meditation has impacted my life and I know it can have a huge impact on your life and the way you process your thoughts. I created a free meditation series for newbies and seasoned yogis alike to enjoy, and you can check them out here if you like.
Tip #6: Get Your Snoogle On (or another great pillow)!: Investing in great pillows, sheets and a comforter- not to mention an ideal mattress for you- is priceless. You deserve the best sleep tools possible to nourish your Beauty Sleep! This Snoogle pillow is one I’ve added lately, as it is great for pregnancy or if you have back problems. It helps give every area of your body the support it needs while being pregnant. I love flopping my big belly, aka Lil Bub, on top of it. If you are not pregnant but experience back pain, then this may still be the pillow for you as well! You can order a Snoogle online easily!
I hope you enjoyed watching my video blog and reading about my top tips for sleep! Let me know how you feel once you incorporate them into your night time ritual!