Get your beauty sleep (and all the perks with it!)

Are you hitting the sheets for the right amount of time each night?

On average, it’s estimated that most Canadians are getting between 4 to 6.9 hours of sleep each night, even though the recommended amount of shut-eye hovers between 7.5 to 9 hours. Between work, family life and social commitments, there is a growing list of reasons why our sleep is being deprived. But whether you are currently battling exhaustion or claim you  ‘run better on less sleep’- why does the amount of sleep really matter?

Ever hear the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”? It may be true! Running on minimal hours can significantly decrease your longevity. And I’m positive your loved ones would object to you running yourself into the ground.

Getting consistent quality REM sleep is directly linked to the majority of our mind & body’s performance. Want clear skin? Get a good night’s sleep. Want to be more focused and productive? Get a good night’s sleep. Want to lose weight? You guessed it- get a good night’s sleep. Heck, it can even lower blood pressure and decrease your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and more! Enough said? No?

Well, here are some additional reasons why you may want to catch a few extra zzz’s tonight:

  • It increases your immune function
  • It reduces stress and anxiety
  • It improves your memory and ability to retain information
  • It increases your ability to build muscle, and helps to banish fat
  • It improves your skin, and slows down the aging process
  • It increases your sex drive
  • It reduces (and can eliminate) migraines and headaches

BONUS: Did you know that cravings and late-night binges can be reduced and even eliminated by improving sleep and reducing caffeine intake? Yes babe, they can! It’s time to jump on the bandwagon of earlier bedtimes and nighttime routines.

Now, I think it’s fair to assume you probably guessed that not all sleep is created equal. Even if you are lying down for the grand total of 9 hours- that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting quality sleep. For instance:

Does it take you a long time to fall asleep?

Do you wake up easily?

Wake up lots?

Feel like you slept like a log but wake up groggy and exhausted?

Well, not to worry babe! I got you- today I am sharing my ULTIMATE tips for improving your sleep routine, and how I personally went from sleep deprived and snappy (Sorry Charles!) to well rested and happy. Once you’ve began to implement a few of these tips, I know you’ll be joining me on the other side of the fence boo. You see me waving? The grass really is greener over here.

BUUUUUT FIRST! You need to grab my FREEBIE worksheet here:

Got it? Good! You’ll want to make sure you are using it as you follow along below to get the full effect!

Any whoooo…. Here we go:

BEDTIME ROUTINE.

Remember when we were like eight years old, and we had a bedtime routine that our parents created? Brushing our teeth, packing our lunch, laying out our clothes for the morning?

Ya, were going back to that. Only, this time it’s way cooler. Promise.

And the best part? You can 100% customize it to you babe.  

Okay, so imagine you have to get up at 530 am for work (fellow nurses, shout out!) or whichever life commitments you have- family, school, etc. As women, we usually require more hours of shut-eye than men- and I personally aim for a minimum of eight hours. So aligning with my wake up time, I would want to be in bed, SLEEPING by 930 pm. Yes, that means I’m in bed even earlier than that to give my body a chance to fall asleep and truly get the full eight hours.

Now it’s your turn, grab your worksheet and start from the top. What time do you have (or want) to get up in the morning? How much time do you give yourself to get ready? Do you workout in the morning? Are you often rushed with your morning routine? Are there things you can do the night before to limit the chaos in the morning such as laying out clothes, packing your lunch, organizing your papers? Doing more the night before will not only limit anxiety and stress (resulting in a better night sleep) but it turns out those routines are parents taught us came in handy… who woulda thought?

Continuing on with the worksheet, determine how much sleep you should ideally be getting, and correspondingly, what time you should be in bed, asleep. Once you have that figured out, its time we move on to discuss some tips on what could be preventing you from a good night’s sleep.

Three major causes of sleep deprivation:

1. Caffeine intake to close to bed. Surprisingly, this doesn’t just mean limiting your coffee intake after 2 pm. Caffeine can be found in all kinds of food and drink including tea, pop, dietary supplements, and even chocolate! It’s important to know what you are putting into your body and try to limit the use of caffeine in the afternoon and on. Looking for a replacement? Try non-caffeinated herbal teas or warm lemon water with honey.

2. Screen time. It’s not a shocker that the decreased hours of sleep are directly correlated with the increase in screen time and accessibility. Everyone and their dog has some form of device now days, and using these within an hour (even two) before bed can cause significant sleep disruption. Computers, tablets, cellphones and even TV’s omit a blue light- this light can disrupt our bodies natural internal clock signalling that it is time to be up rather than crawling into bed. Because of this, many people struggle with falling asleep quickly, and often have broken up sleep patterns. The solution? Aim to step away from the devices at least 30 minutes (but ideally longer than that) before bed. Some ideas of what to do instead can include yoga, reading, journaling, communicating with your spouse… or loving up on them!

3. Stress overload. Have a hectic day coming up tomorrow? Something from today really bothering you? Dreading that meeting at work? Nothing can reap havoc on your zzz’s more than a chaotic mind that can’t shut off. In order to rest with peace of mind, you need to allow your mind the chance to let go of thoughts or worries. Each night before bed, take out a notebook and jot down everything that is coming to your thoughts- whether it’s a to do list or a way to hash out whatever is bothering you- either way it allows your mind the ability to unwind and shut off for the night’s sleep ahead.

Now it’s time to put your beautiful mind to work babe!

Complete the remainder of the bedtime routine worksheet and personalize it to you! Your mission is to design an inspiring and beautiful bedtime routine that you look forward too. Pampering included. Keeping in mind the tips that were listed above, create and implement your own personalized plan to get the most out of your sleep!

Have questions? No problem! Join me January 30th at 2 pm LIVE on Facebook HERE where I will be going over my personal bedtime routine and sharing a few extra tips that I didn’t share above!

Love,