"Get a good night's sleep"
That is what we need to do before a big day, right? I can distinctly hear my mum's voice saying that to me the night before a big test, early morning or the first day of school.
It's true, after all, but why, and more importantly - how?
Sleep is first and foremost essential for the body to rest, repair and rejuvenate our organs. Take a moment to recall that feeling of waking up feeling perfectly rested, refreshed and energetic. Sometimes this happens after a nap, or just the perfect night. Why do we have great nights of sleep and then other nights are just awful?
Starting last January, I have been conducting a sleep study on myself. I just use my smart watch and phone to monitor and track the quality, quantity and influences of my sleep. It has really been eye-opening (wink wink) for me, because things that I used to take for granted are really standing out to me.
The old me used to stay up late watching TV, nibbling on crumbs at the bottom of any chip-clipped bag in my pantry, unwinding with a glass of wine. Then I would crawl upstairs to my bed and was so tired I may or may not take the time to do my full facial and dental routine. (Usually a splash of water and a bit of mouthwash.) Strangely (to me), i would wake up late, feel sloppy, slight headache and grumbly get dressed and grumpily go about my day. I would absolutely have to find time to nap, even if that meant 10 minutes while my kids were at sports or playing in the backyard. I didn't want to feel like that anymore. I wanted to have energy, I wanted to be motivated to get up and get the kids off to school and get to the gym. I wanted to be excited that I had the opportunity to do these things. I decided to make a change.
In recent days, I start my nightly routine around 7pm. Yes, you read that right. Stop shaking your head. I put my little one in the bath and do my full face-wash routine while she splashes happily. I even use toner and serum (whatever those are...). If I need to, I jump in the shower and get into my (functional) pajamas when my daughter does. After her nightly routine, I still have a few things to prepare for the morning, I decide what I am going to have for breakfast. I know it sounds weird, "How do you know what you are going to want to eat in 12 hours?" Answer: I don't. I just make a good guess. Usually it's overnight oats (which i prepare the night before), I check the egg supply, milk supply and of course set the coffee pot. Now don't get me wrong, if the milk is LOW I do NOT run to the closest store in my pj's and slippers like a madwoman-- I just mentally prepare for how i'm going to handle it tomorrow.
I prepare. I don't eat junk. If i get bored and want something, I might have some tea, or chug a bottle of water. I know that sounds cray --"I would be peeing all night!" "I don't like water" "water is boring" go ahead, give me your best one..... I STILL DO IT. It's fine. I promise. Stopping eating after dinner allows your body the time (4 hours) to completely digest and extract nutrients from your food. Another 8 hours allows your body to fully detox all the chemicals, processed foods and sugar that your body cannot use. If you rob your body of this FULL 12 hours of fasting, the toxins will collect, unprocessed in your gut. If you don't allow your body 12 hours to fast, every night, you will carry around 5-7 extra pounds of YUCK in your gut. If that doesn't gross you out, it should.
By the time I get a show or two in, chat with the hubs, I head up to bed about 30 min before I know I want to fall asleep. I make time to finish my nightly routines and allow myself 15 minutes of "me time". Usually spend it reading, or mentally reviewing my day, or mentally organizing my tomorrow.
Next thing I know, I'm checking my sleep monitor app and it is asking me "how was your sleep"?
In the past 4 months, my sleep quality has increased over 30% consistently. I'm convinced there is something to this night routine that has changed the way my body winds down and ultimately sleeps. Other factors of influence (believe it or not) have been the moon cycle, drinking coffee throughout the day, allergins in the air, interruptions in sleep from kids or husband. If you are interested in learning more about the sleep app, let me know.
A good night's sleep leads to a good morning wake up, which leads to a good morning and a good day
As a health coach, I work with clients on how to change the mindset around the struggles, not just action change. It is important to realize that reading a book, blog or news article might inspire change, but having accountability and support to act on inspired change is the missing link. This is why we can't just hang out at the library and fix all of our problems. If you are interested in having a free chat with me about your struggles and figure out the real reasons why you haven't been able to make the progress you dream of, please set up a free discovery session with me. I have experience with being overwhelmed, overweight and exhausted --before i even got out of bed. I was able to identify the roadblocks and express the frustrations that compounded by my symptoms and create inspired actions that really changed my mindset. I can help you, too.