Week One: Setting the Stage
- Create an Oasis:
In this exercise, we will be cleaning our sleeping space, and creating a soothing and relaxing sleeping environment. Make it a place you want to be. Start by cleaning and decluttering. All those magazine, books, papers, odds and ends you have piled up on your nightstand, get them out! I tend to have “I will read these later piles.” Lets designate a different space for that. Even better, if it has been sitting on your night stand for more than a month or two, let it go.
Once you have everything decluttered, now is the time to wash the walls, floor and carpet, vacuum all the corners, and wash the windows, nightstands and bureaus. Clean out your drawers and closet, let go of anything you are not using or haven’t wore in the past 6 months.
Wash your bedding and hang it on the line to dry. There is nothing better than line dried sheets! Is it time for new pillows? This is great time to do a little splurging. Getting some new pillow and bedding is a treat. Look at getting natural fibers, soft colors, and something that you really love.
- Create a Bedtime Routine:
Setting a bedtime routine is the are I sometimes have the most challenge. Your goal is to be in bed with lights out by 10 or 11 pm. You also want to wake up every morning at the same time, and try to achieve 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
One to two hours before bedtime, turn off all electronics. Yep that’s right, no TV, no video games, no Facebook, for me, no Tiny House videos on YouTube! TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!! If you use your phone as your alarm, put it on Airplane mode so that you are not receiving your messages and updates on social media. Reduce all artificial lighting. This is a great time to start a new evening routine with your family, like eating dinner by candlelight, and just continue using the candle light for the remaining part of the evening. Himalayan sea salt lamps are great to use too.
Stop your caffeine intake after 2 pm. That means no coffee, soda, or any other sugary drinks. Stick to water and stop drinking anything 2 hours before bed. That is also the rule for eating. No eating 2 hours before bedtime.
So now you have 1-2 hours before bed, of no TV, electronics, NO PHONE, etc., what do you do??? Now is the time to do something that’s relaxing. But first, gather the things you will need for tomorrow. Set out your clothes, make your lunch, anything you need for the next day, have it set out and ready. Then start working on that “I’ll read it later” pile. Begin a journaling practice or a meditation practice. Work on a crafting project, color a mandala, gentle yoga, connect with your partner, the possibilities are endless. Just do something that relaxes you and nourishes your soul. We will go into this more in a later week.
Creating a morning routine is just as important as an evening routine. Upon waking drink water! I like to keep a glass next to my bed, so when I wake up I can drink immediately. This helps hydrate your body and wakes up your digestive system. I also like to drink another glass of lemon water before eating anything or drinking my coffee. Other things to incorporate into a morning routine is making your bed, dry brushing, stretching, journaling, the list is endless.
Last year I started to wake up an hour early to have some extra time for me. I began a meditation practice and did some gentle stretches to start my day. I encourage you to do the same. It really allows me to ground myself and I don’t feel so rush trying to get out the door.
Practice these exercises this week and see how you feel. This could be something you track in a journal. Record how your feeling when you wake up, how many hours you sleep, how many times you wake during the night, anything related to your sleeping habits. This is a great way to track your progress.
Come over to my to Facebook Sleep Challenge Event and join the challenge!