6 Ways to Improve your Sleep Quality

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6 Ways to Improve your Sleep Quality

How can we expect to sleep when there is so much activity going on in our minds!

Are you tired of getting home after a busy day and not being able to get that long night’s sleep? Tired of waking up in the morning more tired than when you went to bed?

If you’ve been struggling switching off and falling asleep at night, you’re not alone. The Australasian Sleep Association found that at least one-third of adults regularly suffer from significant sleep problems. 35% wake frequently during the night, and the same percentage don’t feel refreshed when they wake up.

Recently I went through a really tough time in my life, despite how much sleep I got, I just didn’t feel rejuvenated. Whilst sleep helped me feel physically better, I still had to combine it with my mindfulness practice to work through my emotions to recover.

With the fast-paced lifestyles that so many of us lead, it’s no surprise that we find it hard to unwind after a busy day or intense period in our lives. But the issue occurs when you expect yourself to be able to fall asleep on command.

Why is it important for us to get a good night's sleep?

It is no surprise that getting those 8 hours or so of sleep in a night is crucial for your physical and mental health, quality of life, safety and wellbeing. While you sleep, your body is busy healing and repairing your blood vessels, balancing your hormones, and creating new pathways to help you remember and learn new information. 

It’s important that you create the conditions most suited to you to help you get deep sleep.

While many of us aim to increase productivity by reducing the amount of sleep we, in actual fact, people who are sleep deficient are less productive at work, taking longer to finish tasks, having a slower reaction time and making more mistakes. 

I don’t know about you but I have never seen a super happy and fresh person who doesn’t get proper sleep! How can ANYONE have the stamina to keep on going in their life if the thing that they’re supposed to spend one third of their lives doing, isn’t getting done. 

Here are ways to help you fall asleep at night

1. Establish a ‘bed-time’ routine

An hour before you go to bed, try not to play games, watch intense movies or do anything that will stimulate your mind too much. Dim the lights and play some calming music to relax the mind.

“I retire to my bed an hour before bedtime” - Kimberley, VIC

After dinner, I start to dim the lights in the house, I light candles and play calmer music. The ‘Yoga Feels’ playlist on Spotify is my favourite! I also try to not watch action packed movies as my dreams usually end up being really disturbed!

2. Be mindful of what you eat and drink during the day

After dinner, I start to dim the lights in the house, I light candles and play calmer music. The ‘Yoga Feels’ playlist on Spotify is my favourite! I also try to not watch action packed movies as my dreams usually end up being really disturbed!

3. Set boundaries

You don’t have to get everything done in a day. Be easy on yourself by setting some boundaries and letting go of your ‘to-do’ list a couple of hours before bed. The world won’t end – I promise! I make 9:30 pm my wind down time, which means that by then, I finish off the item that I am working on, I wind down (not up) the intensity and pace. I allow myself to finish the rest next time.

4. Practice meditation techniques

Meditation can ease your mind and help you to reduce stress before sleeping. There are certain meditations that you can do to help you get to sleep. This may include Yoga Nidra or specific guided meditations that help you consciously relax, these are taught in Mirosuna classes. A meditation that is highly effective that you can buy is Belinda Davidson’s Chakra Cleanse which I use when I’m trying to get to sleep.

These types of meditations help you become systematically aware of your body, mind and emotions and in doing so, you reign your attention into the present, let go of excess thoughts and naturally drift off to sleep as your brainwaves start to slow down.

I deploy this technique when all else fails. I am able to fall asleep for about 8 out of 10 times. It fails when I have eaten something that is keeping me up or if I am just TOO stressed and didn’t remedy it sooner.

This is what Sonya had to say about Yoga Nidra: There was a huge shift in my life when I realized I wasn’t getting enough sleep. At this time, I tried to adjust my sleep schedule abruptly and found myself drowning in thoughts when my head hit the pillow earlier than my body was used to. This proved to be frustrating, even with soothing aromatherapy scents or background noise. One night, I stumbled across a Yoga Nidra meditation on the app Insight

Timer and gave it a shot. The practice was very invitational and allowed me to tap into a somatic experience rather than try to race the thoughts in my mind. I gained a power over my presence, and sleep naturally came.

5. Listen to Singing Bowls to get to sleep easier and faster

Such a wonderful sleep aid! If you follow Mirosuna, you will understand how singing bowls can help lull you into a trance and slows down your brainwaves to help you find deep relaxation. I specifically recorded a Sound Meditation audio file featuring Tibetan Singing Bowls to help you calm your thoughts and fall asleep easier.

“I’ve used the meditation a handful of times, and I can proudly say I’ve never reached the end of it because I’m always asleep before it completes.” - Sonya Matejko, New York

You can get a free 2 minute sample track and guided meditation or you can purchase the 30 minute audio file for $15. All you need to do is get into your sleeping position, put on your headphones, close your eyes, listen to the track and let yourself drift off.

6. Reflexology

Speaking with Natasha Randall (Sydney Reflexologist), she states that “Reflexology relaxes the central nervous system and people always report better sleep. There are over 200,000 nerve endings in the feet that run up the legs into the spine and then on to the organs, systems and glands of the body.

In reflexology you have a map of your body on your foot and your Reflexologist applies pressure to the nerve endings which sends nerve impulses up through the spine and onto the body organs and glands.

Reflexology stimulates circulation, immune function and relaxation which helps your body work more efficiently! The relaxation you can get from reflexology is similar to meditation.”

I knew there was a reason why I LOVE reflexology, I do it regularly when I want to de-stress and FEEL GOOD. I instantly fall into deep relaxation the minute the reflexologist presses deeply into my feet. It’s like my mind just melts away. I especially love this when combined with the therapeutic sounds of singing bowls as I start to recover physically and mentally.

 

If there are any other ways that you find highly effective to help you get to sleep, share it in the comments below so that I can add them to this blog. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and learnt some new ways to improve your quality of sleep. Finally, I highly value my sleep because…

“If I do not look after myself, I cannot continue to make a lasting impact on this world” - Sally Kellett

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