4 Tips on How to Improve Your Sleep

self-help Mar 02, 2021

Sleep is vital to living a good life, so why do we spend so much time fighting with it? Depriving ourselves of it? And taking it for granted? For so many people sleep is a struggle, an afterthought and sometimes a demon. It’s the time of your day when the world slows down and gets quiet, restful and restorative… yeah that sounds nice and peaceful, until the proverbial monkey mind wakes up and starts swinging through the trees!

Sleep is individual. My sleep is not like yours and yours is not like your friend’s. Sleep is not a competition and issues with it are often not talked about. We just keep trudging along expecting that our bodies and our minds will cope. But it doesn’t work that way. The way you feel when you’re awake has a direct connection to what happens when you sleep.

I used to work for a man that bragged to me that he was able to exist on only 4 hours of sleep a night, and tried to convince me that it was the right thing to do! I even worked 24-hours straight for him one time finishing a project and when I left the office to go home, he expected me to return after a short nap to keep going where we left off! Children and things beyond our control can sadly cut our sleep time short, but if you are able to change your habits and get more on a more regular basis, that is the optimal solution to better health.

If you struggle with sleep, I’m sure you feel like you’ve tried absolutely everything to get to sleep and insomnia is real. imbalances and the replaying of tragic life events can disrupt our sleep to the point where it starts seriously effecting our health. Seeking professional help to work through the more complicated issues is the best advice I have for you. You deserve to not be deprived of sleep.

I’m not a sleep expert, but I have found some things that work for me. I hope that in sharing them with you, I can help you or someone you love develop a healthier relationship with your sleep.

  1. Have a Daily Routine

Routines that focus on restoring the body and mind play a large role in our ability to cope with the unexpected things in life. Scattered thoughts at the end of the day or a “racing mind” can lead to restless sleep. Routines not only set the tone of your day but also finish it. Confession time, I bucked routine for a lot of years. I thought that having a routine meant that I was removing spontaneity from my life and that in order to be a more “go with the flow” person, I needed to be freer with my time. Wrongo! Having routine, doesn’t mean less spontaneity, it actually means more freedom because you have a solid foundation on which to build out the rest of your life (including those spontaneous moments!)

My daily routine foundations with no exception are:

  • Showering as soon as I get out of bed – I usually never, ever waiver from this. Water has the ability to set the tone and restore your mind and body.
  • Journaling first thing in the morning and before I turn out the light at night – getting your thoughts out of your head and on paper is very powerful
  • A cup of Green tea first thing in the morning – the soothing effects of this powerful antioxidant help with digestion (also a sleep disruptor)
  • Mediation – I’m new to this but so far, its sticking and I am loving how each day I feel like I am able to go a bit deeper for longer
  • Exercise/movement usually in the form of a walk every day outside, and yoga most days – the break and the light/fresh air boosts my alertness during the day and offers a nice break
  1. Fall in love with your liver

Did you know that a bad diet can have a direct connection to poor sleep? Your liver is very active at night – when you are asleep (think of it as a little clean-up factory). If you give it processed food and more than you need alcohol consumption and extra sugars it’s putting in overtime cleaning up your body – no wonder it wakes you up! According to Chinese medicine, sleep disturbances between 1 – 3am are often associated with your liver working overtime.

Check this out: Did you know that your liver is also responsible for the deactivation of used hormones? Lightbulb! The two main hormones that govern your sleep cycle are cortisol and melatonin. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is usually secreted just before you wake up to give you that fresh start feeling to the day, but if you are prone to stress and anxiety, your cortisol levels will most likely be elevated most days which gives your liver more clean-up to do when you’re trying to sleep. For melatonin, it’s the opposite. This hormone is responsible for sending you off into dreamland, but when it’s off balance, it can make your days sluggish and your nights active as your liver tries its best to process the extra secretions circulating in your system. When we live our lives in contradiction to our body’s natural rhythm, we create an ongoing inner turmoil. For any menopausal women reading this, knowing this information about my liver and paying more attention to it, did wonders for my night sweats. If you want to do more research on this really important organ, check out www.liver.ca (Remember, I’m not a doctor, I’m just relaying information to you that I have found that has made a difference for me and I am passing that info along to you for your to do more research on.)  

  1. Good bedtime habits = Quality sleep habits

When I look back at the times in my life when I had most difficulty sleeping, not only did I have unresolved stress and anxiety, but I also had a poor bedtime routine. My husband Jim and I had a TV in our bedroom, and we would watch the news or intense dramas before switching off the lights. When it came time to rewire our satellite, I made sure a cable wasn’t restrung into our bedroom.

Did you know that blue light from television, cell phones and other electronics interrupt your circadian rhythm – your body’s biological clock? According to an article on health.hardvard.edu, exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin (uh oh, there’s that hormone again – read above if you skimmed). Light at night is a big reason as to why so many people don’t get enough sleep. Studies show that avoiding blue light emitted from electronics 2-3 hours before bed can make a huge difference to the ability to fall asleep and experience quality sleep (I usually read a book before shutting off the light). Curious about blue light glasses, read this article first before you go out and buy some. On the contrary, lots of bright light during the day boosts your ability to sleep as well as having a positive effect on your mood and alertness during the day.

  1. Get off the clock!

This is a simple one that I implemented at the beginning of this year. I unplugged my alarm clock! Confession that I do use my iPhone as my alarm clock now, but I activated “Downtime” on to block me from most apps between the times of 9:00pm and 7:00am. (I have teenage boys who are often get home after I go to bed so having my phone on my nightstand is important should they need to get in touch with me.) I found that by unplugging my alarm clock I was less likely to focus on the time if I woke up in the night. I was finding that looking at the time during any wakeful moments, was causing me additional stress as I worried about the amount of sleep I was getting. Now if I wake up, I can more easily get back to sleep without additional worry and stress.

As I have said, I’m not a sleep expert. Sometimes there are major issues that are affecting your sleep and you should seek professional help, but by working through unresolved issues, following your passion and finding your purpose you have what it takes right inside you to having a more fulfilled and healthier life. Sleep should be something you embrace and look forward to treating yourself to every day.

Your sleep time shouldn’t be something you resent, dislike, or you shortchange yourself on. It’s just as important to your life as your awake moments. Remember that you are never, ever too old to develop new habits, learn new things and grow as a person.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras sed sapien quam. Sed dapibus est id enim facilisis, at posuere turpis adipiscing. Quisque sit amet dui dui.


Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.