The quality of sleep we have is vital to our physical, mental and emotional well-being. There has been an increase in the number of people experiencing lack of sleep. The medical community and sleep research says there are four key reasons the body and mind need quality, restful sleep:
- It helps the brain function properly. During sleep the brain cleanses toxins and waste from brain cells, and allows fresh fluid into the brain. When we sleep well, we are more alert and clear-headed. When we don’t sleep well it affects the performance of the brain and our quality of life.
- It helps to keep our emotions in balance and control, and lessens mood swings and depression.
- It reduces risk of diseases in the body, such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Lack of sleep also affects the immune system.
- It can help keep weight under control. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation affects the body’s ability to regulate appetite hormones.
Having a bedtime routine improves your odds of a healthy sleep that refreshes your mind, emotions and body for the next day. Having a regular routine impresses the mind with the pattern that lets the body know we are preparing to “power down and sleep.”
Here are some recommended nighttime routines to prepare for bed and a restful, more peaceful sleep.
Lights out or dimmed. When it gets dark, the pineal gland in the brain secretes the hormone melatonin that makes us feel sleepy. As you prepare for bed, transitioning from day to evening with light by dimming or lowering the lights, will signal to the mind that you are preparing for sleep.
About 45 minutes to an hour before bed, put away the electronic devices. The blue light that emits from computers, phones and televisions actually block melatonin production that makes us feel sleepy. The blue light tricks the brain and body into thinking it is still daytime.
Incorporate a peaceful activity in your bedtime routine to calm your thoughts and relieve stress and tension. A peaceful mind is essential to a good night’s sleep. Some calming mind-body activities are:
- Breathwork. Five minutes of slow deep breathing will activate the body’s relaxation response to slow down thoughts and relieve stress from the body.
- Meditation or Guided Imagery Recordings. Listening to guided meditations gives the mind positive relaxing thoughts to focus on and assists the body and mind into deep sleep.
- Affirmations. Saying positive, peaceful and calming affirmations to yourself enhances relaxation and has the brain release calming hormones.
- Listening to nature sounds or relaxing spa music.
- Journal writing can help when you have thoughts that are constantly running through your mind. Writing your thoughts gets them out of your mind and on the paper. Once you write your thoughts and feelings, or thinking about your “to do list”, say to your mind, “ok, this is taken care of for now.” If your thoughts are too negative, a better option is to do a gratitude journal of three things that you are grateful for today.
If you like taking a bath or shower before going to bed, do so about 45 minutes to an hour before getting in bed. Hot water from a bath or shower raises the core body temperature and the body has to work to cool itself down. The body sleeps best when its core temperature is cool.
Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages and alcohol too close to bedtime. You will have to go to the bathroom several times. Caffeine is a stimulant and alcohol disrupts REM sleep, which is the best renewing phase of sleep.
Incorporate Lure CBD Calming Drops with a light refreshing mint into an evening mocktail or your sleep routine to help bring a sense of calm, and wellbeing as you wind down. Or try Lure’s new Nighttime Gummies for sleep. They contain CBD, CBN, Magnesium and L-theanine to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Pain interferes with the body and mind’s ability to rest. If you’re having any body pain, use the Lure’s CBD Relief Balm enhanced with Arnica, menthol, peppermint and rosemary, which all have healing and soothing properties. The Lure Relief Balm can also be applied as a foot mask and then covered with socks to relieve and moisturize tired feet and cracked heels.
Diffuse essential oils like lavender oil help relax the mind and body and prepare you for peaceful sleep.
Finally, having peaceful thoughts is a foundation for restful sleep. The body will follow the directive our thoughts give to it, so give it thoughts of peace for a healing and restful sleep.