Self Care Sunday: Sleep

Sleeping is so important for our bodies.  It’s the main way we metabolize cortisol, the stress hormone from the adrenal glands.  Our bodies repair themselves when we sleep.  Our brains assimilate information, and we grow while we sleep.

I can never seem to get enough sleep.  Generally, once I’m asleep I will sleep for a long time with some tossing and turning to change positions according to pain during the night.  However, there are some nights when I find it hard to fall asleep.  My mind is busy with different thoughts, and my body gets tense causing physical pain.  Once I realize I’m not sleeping and it’s getting late, I wake up even more.  That makes it more difficult to sleep.  So, it becomes a vicious cycle.

Here are a few things I do to help me unwind and get a better night’s sleep:

  • Calm down.  Breathe.  Inhale, exhale, repeat.  Count to ten, then repeat.
  • Do some yoga.  Specific yoga poses like child pose calm the nervous system and help with sleep.
  • Click here to read more about yoga poses that help with sleeping.
  • Click here for another list.  I typically do these poses on the floor in front of the tv at night to start winding down.
  • One naturopathic doctor told me if I was going to do one yoga pose a day, I should do downward dog.  It’s an easy pose that stretches the spine and massages the internal organs.
  • Have a bedtime routine of some sort.  It’s not exactly the same thing as the kids’ version but similar.  Shower time, quiet time, reading, and stretching all are effective bedtime routine activities.
  • Listen to nature sounds or a playlist of favorite songs.  I enjoy listening to ocean sounds and birdsongs on my iPhone app called Nature Space.
  • Take a hot bath or shower.  Epsom salts in the bath are super relaxing.

sleepyoga

What do you do to help yourself sleep well?  Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

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4 comments on “Self Care Sunday: Sleep

  1. i just stumbled across your site and enjoyed reading your post. I am curious whether you have any thoughts on facilitating sleep after traumatic injury. I have tried meditation, and many of the techniques you mentioned, yet still have had great difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep. I was very much a morning person, rising at 4 or 5 in the morning. Now I find it difficult to rise at 6 to get my son off to school.

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