67. 8 Strategies for Better Sleep
Do you ever struggle with sleep? We hear you!
Falling asleep and staying asleep, especially during stressful seasons, is a challenge that many teachers face!
We’ve experimented with many strategies to help us wake up feeling rested and the following 8 are our favourites. Give them a try and see what works best for you.
- Listen to a guided meditation before bed.
- We love doing a guided body scan to help our minds get out of thinking and into sleeping! (Insight Timer is a great free app that has lots of guided bedtime meditations to choose from.)
- Try a calming Yin Yoga session.
- Try rubbing lavender or cedarwood essential oil on the bottoms of your feet before bed.
- Try keeping a journal next to your bed.
- Often what stops us from falling asleep is our mind running through the things we’re worried about or don’t want to forget. Every night before going to sleep, write down everything that’s on your mind. Get it all out on the paper so that your brain knows it’s safe to stop thinking about it. Then, write down 5 things you’re grateful for. Gratitude helps reduce stress hormones and gets your body in a state where sleep is accessible.
- Exercise daily, but don’t do vigorous activity a minimum of 4 hours before bed.
- Intense physical activity wakes your body up so it’s better for your sleep cycle to get your movement in the morning or afternoon.
- No screens before bed!
- The light from phone and computer screens tricks your body into thinking it’s morning time so it doesn’t start producing the chemicals you need for sleep. Try putting all screens away at least 1 hour before bed.
- Try cutting out caffeine.
- Everyone is different, so you’ll have to experiment. Does cutting out caffeine after 10 am help you to sleep better? Or maybe you need to stop drinking caffeine completely. The good news is that if cutting out caffeine helps you sleep better, you won’t even need it anymore.
- Create a bedtime routine.
- Most of our actions are unconscious, meaning that we follow a set of steps all day whether we notice it or not. Our brain is constantly going through “if this then that” steps. For example “if my alarm goes off, then I press snooze” if that is the routine we have created. If you can have a specific set of steps that lead to sleep your brain will go “I’ve brushed my teeth, then turned on my essential oil diffuser, that means it’s now time for sleep”.
Use this list as a set of tools you can choose from when the time is right. Experiment to see which strategies work best for you and let us know how it goes!
Have a great week!
With calm and appreciation,
Kailey and Josianne
Dive deeper into this topic by listening to the following episode of The Balanced Educator Podcast:
Listen to Episode 61 and 62 to learn more about essential oils.