Tag Archives: sleep challenge

31 Days to Better Sleep: Week Three

31-Day Sleep Challenge

Week Three: Movement and Suspension Week3 SC

1.  Move your Body:

This week we will incorporate movement into our daily routine. The goal is to get 20 minutes of exercise and increase that to 30 minutes a day. If you feel ready or are currently do 30 minutes or more, by all means go for it! But for those that haven’t been working out regularly or have a hard time to find a 20 block of time, here is what I want you to do; two 10-minute sessions. Can’t find 10 minutes? Then do four 5-minute sessions. I won’t let you excuse your way out of this!!!

Some of the amazing benefits of exercise are that it helps to control weight, improves mood and brain function, reduces stress, PROMOTE SLEEP, prevents health conditions and diseases, taps into your creativity, and so much more!!!

Some quick workouts you can do and you don’t even need to go to the gym!!

  • Brisk walks outside
  • Running up and down the stairs for 5-10 minutes
  • Squats, jumping jack, push-up sit-up, or whatever combo of exercises you like (or tolerate), and do as many reps as you can in 5-10 workout sessions
  • Rebounding on a trampoline
  • Dancing!! This one is my favorite and makes me feel so good. There is nothing like shaking it to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” to put me in a good mood! Create a play list and dance yourself into happiness!

Here are some links to other workout ideas:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-20201/a-10-minute-workout-you-can-do-every-day-no-equipment-necessary.html

http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/fast-paced-five-move-total-body-workout

http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/10-minute-bodyweight-workouts-burn-fat/

2.  Suspend your Mind:

For your mind we are going to do the opposite of movement. We are going to slow it down and give it a chance to rest. We will incorporate a mediation practice. Now when most people think of mediation, they think of sitting cross-legged, on a big pillow, with candles and incense burning, chanting some strange language. This is not at all what I mean, but if that works for you, chant away my friend!! That is one of my favorite ways to meditate!!!

Some of the benefit of meditation are reduces stress, IMPORVES SLEEP, brain function, immunity, concentration, increase attention span, helps you feel more connected, increases self-awareness and happiness, slows aging, and so much more.

There are many ways to meditate. One of the easiest ways to start is to practice a breathing exercise. Start by closing your eyes and taking a deep breath in for the count of 5, filling your belly. Hold the breath for a count of 5, and then let it all out for a count of 5. Do this for a round of 5 breaths and practice this couple of times a day. Especially upon waking and just before going to bed.

Another way to begin to mediate is using a guided mediation. This was the key for me to establish my meditation practice. It gave me a way to keep my mind focused. Now I don’t need it, but I still love doing guided meditations. I have attached some links to some of my favorite Youtube channels that offer guided meditation. Take a moment to go through the videos and find what resonates with you. Then plug in your headphones, find a quiet comfortable spot, close your eyes and relax!

https://www.youtube.com/user/MichaelSealey

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheHonestGuys

https://www.youtube.com/user/EdensCloset

Meditation can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make it. There are many different ways and types of meditation. I suggest by starting with these simple steps and practicing them daily. Once you get some momentum in your practice, then explore other mediation methods and techniques.

jen med.

 

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31 Days to Better Sleep: Week Two

31-Day Sleep Challenge

 Week Two: Self-Careweek 2 sleep challenge

1.     Create a self-care ritual: This week we will add self-care to our daily routine.  Continue your morning and bedtime routine, and turning off the electronics and television 1-2 hours before bed.  Now we are going to create a self-care ritual. This can be any time during the day, but the idea is to do something that makes you feel good. Self-care are intentional actions taken to meet our physical, emotional and spiritual needs.  There are so many benefits of practicing self-care, such as reducing stress, supports a healthy immune system, reducing anxiety and depression, builds our confidence, makes us better caregivers and so much more. 

      Each day decide on one or more actions that you will take to practice self-care.  One thing I would like to point out is to do something that is completely different from what you do for work.  Or if you’re a stay at home mom, this doesn’t mean taking your kids to the movies.  That IS fun and I love doing that, but this is a chunk of time is devoted just to you.  Another example of this, I use to work in the animal welfare field and EVERYTHING I did in my life revolved around animals.  When I wasn’t rescuing them, I was walking my dog, going to an agility class, cleaning my pig’s pen, playing with my cats.  Everything involved an animal on some level.  I loved doing all that, but had I taken better care of myself during that time and given myself a break from animals, I would have been a much healthier, happier person.  And I would not have suffered as horribly as I did. 

      I have a nightly self-care ritual that I’ve done for the past 3 years.  I take a shower before bed, usually with the lights off and burn a candle, while in the shower I meditate for 5-10 minutes.  During my meditation, I think of all the wonderful things that I am grateful for and just breathe deeply (meditation can be that easy).  After showering, I apply essential oils (usually Vetiver) with massage oil and give myself a massage and think of all the things good things I did that day for myself and others and how that made me feel.  Since this challenge began, I have been turning on my Himalayan sea salt lamp and reading a book.  I’ve noticed in just a week, my sleep is better and I wake up well rested. 

Some self-care ideas:

·       Getting a massage or facial

·       Yoga

·       Mediation

·       Soak you feet in warm water and massage with essential oils

·       Paint, draw, craft, playing an instrument, etc.

·       Read a book

·       Buy yourself a healthy delicious lunch, or make yourself one.  Fill your thoughts with love and kindness as you create your meal.  Then enjoy each bite slowly.

·       Journaling

·       Go for a walk or hike

·       Dance or listen to your favorite music.  Especially something from you junior or high school days

·       Go horse back riding

·       Saying “no” to something you don’t want to do, and DON’T feel guilty.

·       Take a nap

·       Learn something new

·       Go to your favorite place and have a picnic or just sit quietly

·       Have a dinner date with your best friend

·       Turn of your phone and computer for the whole day

 

The list is endless.  Just do something that feels good to you and nourishes your soul.  Taking care of yourself first, allows you to continue to care for those that rely on you to care for them.  So give your soul a big hug and start practice daily self-care. 

To join the 31 Days to Better Sleep Challenge, join us on Facebook and see 31 Days to Better Sleep: Week One

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31 Days to Better Sleep: Week One

Week 1 sleep chal.31-Day Sleep Challenge

Week One: Setting the Stage

  1. 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.

  1. 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!