Do you know how to sleep?
It’s such a weird question, because everybody can sleep.
Asking you if you know how to sleep is like, asking you if you know how to breathe?
But quality sleep is actually a hard thing to achieve! There’s so much involved, and studies have shown that we are getting less sleep, and less quality sleep.
Sleep is a massive part of any unicorn’s health. And it’s so hard for me to function when I don’t have good quality sleep. I get so tired in the day, I can’t concentrate and I get irritated over small things.
At night, I worry about the future, I make plans for tomorrow, I wonder whether I’ve forgotten to do something.
It’s hard to shut off.
Not getting enough quality sleep affects our physical health (higher chances of getting sick), mental health (find it difficult to focus), and emotional health (get angry easily)
I spoke to a psychologist, who shared some tips. And for the next 30 days, I’m going to try them out to better my health.
Start a sleep routine
I’ve never had a sleep routine before. I don’t do anything to prepare for bed, I just look at the clock and try to finish what I can. Often… I get distracted.
A sleep routine helps to prepare us physically for bed, like taking a bath or drinking warm milk. Doing the same thing everyday also prepares us mentally, because the more often we do it, our brains will be triggered into realising it’s time for bed.
So now I will start a sleep routine 1 hour before bed.
Stop drinking water
What I mean is, I will drink my last glass 1 hour before bedtime.
I have the habit of going to the toilet in the middle of the night, which disturbs my sleep and makes it harder for me to fall asleep again.
Switch off from devices
Rather than scrolling through the Internet, I plan put on an audio or video I can listen to, but not watch, while getting ready for bed.
That way, I can still listen to something going on, while going about clearing up my room (I like to watch Christmas vlogs or Buzzfeed’s Try Guys).
Often I feel I’m stiff from sitting down, so standing up and doing a few stretches won’t make my body feel so tight. The worst is my neck!
This is something I’ve never done before.
This is basically visualising calming setting (like the beach or a meadow), imagining calming things going on around you and allowing yourself to relax into it.
it also means allowing your physical body to be relaxed, and after the visualisation (usually 5 minutes?) you can go back to where you were. But mentally, you will feel less tense.
I want to try doing this before bed.
I find this hard sometimes. As somebody with anxiety, it’s hard to breathe deeply because my adrenaline is working so hard (even while lying down) so my heart beats faster, and that makes me take shallow breaths.
If you’ve ever had this problem, the psychologist recommends to not give up (which I do!), and just keep breathing until your body calms down enough to breathe deeply.
And that’s my new routine! Hopefully I can stick to it, and improve my sleep. It won’t be easy at first but hopefully I’ll get the hang of it.
I believe that quality sleep really affects my day, and especially my energy, so I am excited to improve my health in that area. It hasn’t been good so far!
Want to join me on my sleep journey? Comment below! I will add updates soon.