“Let’s start by taking a smallish nap or two“
-Winne The Pooh
Sleep is an important part of the recovery process. As a dancer, I have extremely active days! My cooking work also requires me to be very active, so after a day of work, hot yoga, and tango, I’m pooped. These are my tips to getting the best possible sleep!
Stop Eating At Least An Hour Before Bed
This is especially true if you experience acid reflux. Laying sideways while you have an increased amount of stomach acid floating around to aid digestion is sure to irritate it further. Tango really doesn’t help the whole “don’t eat before you sleep” thing. I try to carry a granola bar so I don’t bomb my stomach before going to sleep… but sometimes I just need real food.
Prepare Your Things For The Following Day
This is so important to me. I will stay up as late as I need to make sure I wake up to my bag packed and clothes laid out. This way I can go to sleep in peace and not have to worry about possibly needing more time than I have in the morning.
Shower Before Bed
Even though you may want to just fall into bed when you get home, there is nothing like a warm shower to wind you and get you relaxed for bed.
Cut Screen Time An Hour Before You Go To Sleep
This is probably the tip I struggle with the most. We have all heard that the light emitting from our screen messes with our brain’s ability to determine when to feel sleepy. Usually I am listening to Youtube videos as I get ready for bed, so I have recently switched over to podcasts, that way I am less tempted to look at the screen.
Close The Blinds
Any light will disrupt your sleep! It’s not just your eyes that need to be covered (although it helps). I always drag my lazy butt out of bed to close the living room shades since the light makes it into my bedroom. Alternatively, a sleep mask is super helpful! I love my Slip silk sleep mask, and it comes in handy for travel too.
Lower The Temperature Of The Room
The National Sleep society recommends that “bedroom temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.” So pile up the blankets instead of turning up the thermostat!
Clean Sheets & Sheets You Love
Who doesn’t love the feeling of slipping into clean sheets? I feel like this one can go without saying, so take this as your reminder to switch out your bedding! Choosing the most beautiful materials will keep you comfy all night long. I love my silk pillowcases from Slip and Anthropologie quilts.
If you are feeling restless when you’re trying to go to sleep, try taking ten very slow breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Try to make the inhale as strong and significant as the exhale. Breathing exercises calm your nervous system and your your body for sleep.
Lavender Essential Oil
You may have been told that Lavender helps with insomnia , but it has also been shown to help relieve sleep issues in several studies. “The Journal of Science and Healing noted the effects of lavender on college students with self-reported sleep issues” according to University Health News. Try lavender essential oil in a diffuser, lavender filled pillows, or lotions to achieve a good night’s rest.