Welcome to Part Three of my Sleep Series blog! This blog addresses strategies that can help your mind relax and unwind from the day, making it easier for you to get a good night’s sleep. Remember, aim for 7 to 9 hours a day and do your best to schedule those hours and make them happen. Your body will thank you for it!
Tip #1: Journal Your Day
This scenario might be familiar to many of you: You’ve showered and are in clean PJs. You turn off the lights and get ready for sleep…except, for some reason you can’t stop thinking! “Did I prepare enough for tomorrow’s presentation at work? What am I going to make for dinner tomorrow? I forgot to pay that bill! Oh, and that thing I said to my friend the other day…I wish I didn’t…” And, on and on it goes, you can’t stop thinking about everything.
Writing just five minutes before bed in a journal can settle your mind and help you sleep, according to a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. When you write, don’t just include what happened today, but also write your to-do list for tomorrow. The physical act of writing something on paper with a pen or pencil can help you get things off your mind and allow you to fall asleep sooner.
Tip #2: Create A Gratitude Jar
On a similar note, consider getting a mason jar or a pretty glass bowl on your nightstand and embark on a new nightly project. Before you go to bed, write something you’re thankful about on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. Even if it is something as small as “I enjoyed a delicious chocolate chip cookie today!”, watching the gratitude jar/bowl grow every night will make you realize something: You have a lot to be thankful for! I picked up this one at a local store, but really any glass jar will do! Contentment = Sleep.
Tip #3: Sleep Aids - Good or Bad
Sleep aids are available to us in many forms. Lack of sleep probably is one of the most important health and wellness challenge we face as we grow older. Have you heard of Melatonin? It’s a hormone produced by the body from the pineal gland not a mineral or vitamin. Melatonin regulates the body’s clock and tells you went to grab your pjs to go to sleep. As we age, all hormone levels change. Melatonin has other functions in the body as well. It’s important to talk to your health practitioner about your own circumstances to determine in supplementing your body makes sense. Self-prescribing hormones such as Melatonin could affect other areas of your wellness. Obtain advice and guidance that’s specific to you.
If you have your own version of a Gratitude Jar or already have started a journal feel free to share your feedback on these tips via firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you! Sweet Dreams! Hugs, Alison