When we think about self-care, we typically picture actions and activities like healthy eating, physical exercise, and perhaps even meditation. What we often forget about is the importance of sleep. We tend to view it as if it were nothing – the absence of doing something. But the truth is that a good night’s sleep is an absolute imperative in order for our bodies to rest, repair, and rejuvenate.
As adults, we generally need somewhere around 7-9 hours of sleep each night. And whether or not we get it can make a significant difference in our physical and mental health. Good quality sleep helps increase energy, boost immunity, improve mood and memory, regulate blood sugar, reduce risks of heart disease, maintain a healthy weight, and more.
Given the amazing benefits of sleep, I highly recommend establishing a positive sleep routine and creating a comfy-cozy rest nest that sets you up for a peaceful slumber each and every night.
It’s important to keep in mind that quality sleep begins before we slip beneath the sheets. Small things, like exercising earlier rather than later, refraining from eating at least two hours before bed, and maintaining a consistent bedtime routine, allows our bodies to smoothly transition from day to night. And as difficult as it may be sometimes, turning off our screens in the evenings can noticeably improve our ability to fall asleep.
Once you are ready for bed, ambiance is everything! Investing in nice pillows and sheets is an absolute must, but a dreamy sleep mask is an indulgence that is hard to truly appreciate until you’ve experienced it for yourself. Not only does it block out light that might disrupt your sleep, but it feels like a soft, smooth, weighted blanket for your eyes. It’s the epitome of being pampered like a princess.
Personally, I love to light a calming candle before bed and drift off to sleep to the soothing sounds of nature. Some people prefer white noise or meditative music. Find what works best for you!
Of course, my trusted Oura does an amazing job of tracking my light, deep, and REM sleep periods, so I’m always in-the-know about my sleep/awake cycle. It’s just as accurate – and even more convenient – than a sleep lab study!
Just remember, this health and wellness journey we’re on together always includes time for rest. In fact, it’s essential to our success.