How to Sleep Better

I was lucky enough to be invited by kikki.K to speak on a panel about sleep earlier this week, as part of the launch of their new and super beautiful 'More Sleep' line (see below for images). I shared lots of tools for a better sleep and I really wanted to share them with you... 

'cause sleep is a BIG deal. It’s one of the four things (including water, food and procreation) we can’t survive without.

Which is probably why sleep’s of the hottest topics at the moment. Mainly, because most of us aren’t getting enough of it: sleep anxiety, insomnia, and living in a constant state of sleep-deprivation appear to be the new “normal”… even if we promise ourselves to “catch up” on our zzz’s at the weekend.

The average person in the UK gets a little over six and a half hours sleep per night. And almost half of the UK population is kept awake through stress and worry— which is no surprise when you review our crazy hectic lifestyles and constant hustling.    

And yet— if you ask me, I’d say there’s more to it than our mental lifestyles. I’d like to invite you to look back to your family life growing up - what were your parent’s sleep patterns like? Did they drum into you the importance of having 8 hours (so if you have any less, you worry?) or did they stay awake until 2am watching TV (and so you are naturally a night owl)

Sounds obvious, yet our childhood environments actively contribute to our current circumstances.

So what can we do about it?    

There are lots of tools out there to help with sleep -

My favourites are: my REN sleep sprays which help you relax, my KIKKI K sleep masks, and beautiful journals to help you download your to-do list before you sleep, as well as countless blogs and books teaching you sleep rituals to help you wind-down into the right place to drift out.

The key is to relax. Relax your mind, your body and your heart.

I’m a great believer in releasing anything we’ve built up during the day. All the things we’ve said YES to, the projects we’ve taken on, the work we’ve rushed through. We’re piled up inside our bodies to the brim with energy and information. We need a way to release this.

  1. Using an affirmation (or mantra) which actives a shift in your mind. For me, I use “I surrender” as it clicks my mind into a lower gear. I can immediately feel my body begin to relax and let go of the tension. Repeat it a few times, until you can literally feel your whole body releasing.  
     
  2. Focus on your breathing. Notice where in your body you’re naturally breathing into, and focus your awareness on the breath going in and out of your body. Nothing else. Simply watch the breath. This gives your mind something else to focus on, rather to continue to try and solve problems for you well into the night. Try placing one hand on your heart’s centre (centre of your chest) to make this even easier for you to follow.
     
  3. Throw your phone out the room. Take it out! It’s the tool for the most distraction, and the blue light is very draining (and affects your energy levels immensely). Everything can wait until the morning. Do yourself the biggest favour and ban all tech from your bedroom.
     
  4. Listen to a soothing guided meditation. After a long and difficult day at work -or when I find my mind’s too restless- I like to lie down, pop my earphones on and listen to a smooth voice guiding me into relaxation. I love doing this during or after a warm bath for the ultimate self-care ritual.

The most important thing is to prioritise your sleep and experiment with different tools to find which work for you. You’ll be amazed at how even a little more sleep will help with your energy levels, mental clarity and pretty much every single aspect of your life.

 

Don’t believe me? Just sleep on it.

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Jody Shield