Why Don't I Sleep Well?
Wouldn’t it be a dream come true to be one of those people who are excited to get out of bed in the morning? Full of passion and energy, and ready to take on the day? You may feel this sounds too good to be true, but in actuality it is possible to get a good night's sleep that gives you the energy needed to take on the day. It all comes down to the small daily adjustments that will greatly transform your life. We have identified the top 5 habits that cause us to sleep poorly, and once you replace them with healthier habits you will start sleeping like a baby!
Let's Take A Closer Look:
Poor Habit #1: Distractions from Electronics
Nowadays it’s easy to let your attention drift onto your phone and electronics, especially after a long day of work when the only activity you have energy for is a passive, low-effort one. You may unintentionally find yourself scrolling through Facebook newsfeeds, Instagram, and other social media followings without realizing where the time has gone. So, instead of wasting precious moments of the night distracted and unfocused, make it a habit to set an alarm for yourself 1-2 hours before bed, that way you can make sure you are intentionally using that time to unwind and relax your mind in other ways.
Healthy Solution #1: Replace Phone Scrolling with a Soothing Nightly Ritual
One of the best ways to unwind is to diffuse a calming essential oil before bed. It gives your senses something to look forward to, delightfully brings you back to the present moment, and most importantly replaces a bad sleep habit with a healthy one. At Salt Breeze we recommend Serenity, a doTERRA essential oil restful blend. The results of its relaxing aroma can be felt immediately.
Poor Habit #2: Not Leaving the Work Day at Work
Due to the rapid evolution of technology, which has made access to communication instantaneous, our mental health has declined. With instant communication comes an expectation that you must be prepared to answer your devices at all times, since the excuse ‘I didn’t have my phone’ is no longer viable. Therefore, you may have internalized the idea that you must be working all the time, even after hours when you’re off the clock.
Healthy Solution #2: Set Boundaries
This is where boundaries become essential. Give yourself 1-2 hours before bed, where you absolutely do not check email, phone, or iPads for anything work-related. Without intentionally setting aside this time, you may be responding to messages you don’t need to, or getting worried about situations you can’t control until the following day.
In fact, the best solution to this habit is to download the Calm app. "Calm" is a meditation app that offers users guided meditations, music, and bedtime stories to help them fall asleep faster and experience calmer states of being more frequently. So instead of tapping on that work email or responding to a text after hours, simply download the Calm app and allow yourself to breathe! Or, if you want to save the $12.99/ month or $59.99/ yearly subscription, Salt Breeze offers its members the ability to enjoy this app free for one month.
This is a wonderful perk since otherwise Calm only allows you a free trial period of 7 days, and after that requires payment. In addition to the Calm app, there’s a variety of reasons to become a Salt Breeze member which can be found by following this link: https://saltbreezenj.com/pages/memberships.
Poor Habit #3: Inconsistent Sleep
An inconsistent sleep schedule does more than just affect your body’s sleep/wake cycle by disrupting its circadian rhythm: it interferes with the body’s ability to repair itself, which causes chronic fatigue and exhaustion. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) not only does energy move through the body in a 24 hour cycle, but it states that the energy is strongest every 2 hours within a particular organ in the body which heals its functions.
Healthy Solution #3: Follow The Body’s Time Clock (TCM)
So if you for example aim to go to bed at 10:30pm each night, but in reality only make it to bed by midnight, you don’t allow your gallbladder the ability to heal itself, which is believed to be the organ that guides decision-making. So, you may feel depleted during the day not just because of poor sleep, but also because this organ is constantly fatigued, and therefore puts a drain on your overall energy by taking excess amounts of your attention and effort to make decisions.
"An inconsistent sleep schedule does more than just affect your body’s sleep/wake cycle by disrupting its circadian rhythm: it interferes with the body’s ability to repair itself, which causes chronic fatigue and exhaustion...So if you for example aim to go to bed at 10:30pm each night, but in reality only make it to bed by midnight, you don’t allow your gallbladder the ability to heal itself, which is believed to be the organ that guides decision-making."
Poor Habit #4: Too Much Light Exposure (Indoor and Electronic)
Our bodies are old-fashioned, and back in the day when there was no electricity or alarm clocks people relied on the sun for a schedule. Now, when your body is around light, even artificial light from a lamp or phone screen, your body still associate it as a ray of sunlight, which signals to the body that it needs to be awake.
Healthy Solution #4: Dim the Lights Before Bed
So instead of sitting indoors with all the lights on, or in front of a TV or phone screen, dim the lights 1-2 hours before bed, so that way your body gently recognizes it’s time to prepare for sleep. Beneficial light sources to use 1-2 hours before bed are Himalayan Salt lamps. The soft glow from these lamps gently transition the brain from alpha waves, which occur during conscious states, to theta waves, which are brain waves that occur during the first and second stages of our sleep cycle. Turning on a Himalayan Salt lamp 1-2 hours before not only prepares your body for rest, but also releases negative ions that promote healing and relaxation, as well as absorbs the electromagnetic waves from our phones and other electronics.
Poor Habit #5: Exercising Before Bed
Going on a run before bed is definitely an obvious form of exercise that while beneficial to your physical health, may not benefit your slumber. But, exercise can also include more subtle forms of movement, such as taking the dog out to do his business, chasing after the kids to get them to bed, or even coming home late from work and going to sleep shortly after you’ve been on your feet all day.
Healthy Solution #5: Practicing Qi Gong
So, an activity you can do to counteract any of these scenarios is qi gong. Qi gong involves a series of gentle stretches that transition the body from an anxious state to one of peace and calmness. Qi means energy in Chinese, and the movements are designed to help circulate energy throughout the body which helps to calm your nerves, so that way your body can be prepared to rest. Salt Breeze is always hosting events to help people attain optimal health and wellness, and will be providing classes on qi gong in the near future.
In conclusion, we hope our expertise will help you identify your habits that cause disruptive sleep, as well as provide you with practical solutions to help you get the rest you deserve! We would love to learn what works or doesn't work for you. Please comment below.