How to prepare for restorative sleep
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about how to start the day. This week's one focuses on how to best close the day. The two most important times of the day are the start and the end. They frame your day and are also the two best times to meditate.
When you start your day with peace and connection to your inner-self, this affects your whole day and when you end the day with peace and connection this influences your night's sleep and sets the right foundation for the next day.
Workwise, I recommend doing a list of the jobs or setting major priorities for the next day before you end your working day. This way your subconscious mind has time to prepare and you are ready to go when you start your working day.
After work, it is always good to have a way of winding down. When your mind is constantly focused on something it reduces efficiency. The break gives you a rest and will help you generate even better ideas and be more productive when you resume work.
Daily vigorous exercise aids restorative sleep. Even a 10-minute walk can make a difference. Sunlight during the day and less or no interaction with tv, phones or computer screens before bed and darkness in your bedroom all aid sleep.
For best digestion, we should avoid eating heavy food two hours before bed. Coffee, alcohol and nicotine can all affect sleep quality. Some of these things are personal but if your sleep is bothering you, look at limiting them during the day and before sleep.
I met a wonderful friend this week and he ends each day writing a gratitude list - giving thanks for all the great things big and small that happened during the day. This is a great way to set you up for a good night's sleep and prepare for even more things to be grateful for tomorrow and in the future.
If something is bothering you before bed, plan to address it at some future point. It is important you stick to your plan. Then you can put your mind at rest confidently in the future as you know you can rely on yourself to solve problems. We are not at our most creative or productive late in the day. If you are living with people, never go to bed without making up if you have had an argument.
Every day has new possibilities and potential. For us to realise this we must be fully present and in the moment. If we are carrying stuff from yesterday or last year that reduces our ability to make the most out of any moment.
Stress thoughts should be avoided in bed. If your mind is busy, direct it to positive and reflective thoughts. A negative mind is like wild horses. It does not stop. If you want to slow your mind down, this will happen easily when you convert your thoughts to a more positive variety. Focusing on your breath and deep breathing naturally slows the mind down.
Close your eyes and focus on your breath, breathing slowly and making each breath deeper than the last.
Or you can do a practice called yoga nidra starting with your toes, and relaxing your muscles all the way to the top of your head. They are amazing practices and can really make a world of a difference bringing relaxation and quality sleep. Why not try them out this week and experience the difference for yourself?
If these Wellbeing articles are inspiring any change in you, I would love to hear from you.