GREAT Morning SQUAD!
“Sleep is the best meditation.” – The Dalai Lama
Since sleep plays such a vital role in the quality of our mental health, I’ve decided to offer up 10 tips for better sleep!
- Optimal Bedtime: Sleep cycles last an average of 90 minutes. The average person has roughly 5 sleep cycles per night. Your optimal beditime is calculated by taking your socially determined wake up time and subtracting 7.5 hours. For example, I would need to get to bed by 9:30pm if I intend to wake up at 5am the next morning.
- Naps: Optimal time to nap during the day is either a) 25 minutes or less or b) 90 minutes (a full sleep cycle). Naps lasting between 25-90 minutes are detrimental and upon waking up, might leave you feeling groggy, hazy and tired. There is a small core body temperature drop between 1pm-3pm and this signals your brain to release melatonin so you feel more tired. If you’re going to nap during the day, 1pm-3pm is optimal.
- Nap-a-latte: Put iced cubes in a 6oz cup of coffee. Drink it quickly, then lie down, close your eyes, and take a nap for no more than 25 minutes. When you wake up, you will have gotten enough stage 1 and stage 2 sleep to reduce your sleep drive, and the caffeine will just be kicking in. You should feel alert for 3-4 hours. Do not do this more than once in a day, more than a couple of times a week, or after 4pm.
- Sunlight: Get 15 minutes of sunlight every single morning.
- Physical Activity: Engage in a minimum of 20 minutes of physical activity every single day. Your sleep quality will improve with this regimen.
- Power Down: Power done 1 hour before bed. Use your final hour as follows: 20 minutes to prep for the next day/family activities, 20 minutes for hygiene, 20 minutes for some form of relaxation or meditation.
- Worry Journal: Keep a notepad next to your bed and scribble down any ideas that might come to you as you are trying to doze off.
- Bedroom Temperature: Keep the bedroom between 65-75 degrees. Anything outside of this might be disruptive to your sleep.
- How to make yourself a Morning Person: Go to bed at the right time for you every night. Never hit the snooze. Get direct sunlight in the AM before anything else. Drink 8 oz. of room temp. water. Exercise your body and mind. Take a cool / cold shower.
- Banana Tea Recipe: Alas, my favorite tip! I have made this almost every night since hearing about this recipe and my sleep has improved dramatically! Take 1 whole organic banana and wash the outside thoroughly. Cut off the tip and the stem. Cut the banana in half and keep the skin on and the fruit in. Boil 3-4 cups of water and put the banana with the peel on, in the water. Boil for 6-8 minutes or until the banana is brown. Pour the water into your favorite mug. Add honey or cinnamon for taste. ENJOY!
Implementing just one of the above tips will help to improve your sleep!
Enjoy what comes of today!