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How to Sleep Better?

Today is World Sleep Day! (17th March 2023)

A day to bring awareness about how sleep and rest is sooo important for our health and wellbeing! We all know that feeling of a crap's night's sleep 😴😴😴 how it can affect our mental, emotional, physical and social wellbeing!

“People should think about sleep like they do other important healthy behaviours such as exercise – as something to reflect upon and, when appropriate, improve so that one can feel better and remain healthier over time,” - Dr Lourdes DelRosso

Today is intended to encourage more conversations about the topic of sleep!

Why is Sleep so Important?

  • Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up

  • Your body releases hormones during sleep that help repair cells and control the body’s use of energy.

  • During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health.

  • When we sleep, our bodies and minds have the time to rest, recover and process all the things which have happened to us during the day

  • Better memory and performance. Lower weight gain risk. Better calorie regulation.

Personally, I am not a 'good sleeper'. I still sometimes have trouble getting to sleep or wake up several times in the night. What I have found helpful is, other than the obvious to avoid caffeine before bedtime (I don't drink caffeinated drinks after 2pm) - the importance of setting up for a goodnight's sleep. It's all about the sleep hygiene, your evening routine! Our nervous system (for deep nourishing rest) has to feel safe enough to fall asleep. We need to let our nervous system know it is time for bed- this is what a evening routine is. Here are my 5 top tips:

  1. Make sure to set time before set sleep time e.g. If I want to be asleep by 11 pmish. I aim to start winding down at 9:30 pm

  2. Aim to go sleep and wake up around the same time.

  3. A close down list - My job requires a lot of thing to be going on in my head all at the same time. It helps to close down my day with my diary and to do list. Tick off what I have done, reschedule/ signpost the things I need to do on another day. It's all dumped out of my brain so I don't have to remember it or think about it!

  4. For me, I need to eat earlier (can't sleep while I feel full) and have a shower to help wash off the day and wind down. Do something that signifies your closing of your day and make it a daily habit. Other examples -wipe off make up, facial routine, moisturise body, head/hand/foot massage (as little as 1 min), 3 deep breaths, herbal relaxing tea, listen to a relaxing song.

  5. Do something relaxing before bed e.g. Yin yoga, read a book, listen to music, listen to guided meditation (Haha so not a intense thriller - which I used to do... I wouldn't recommend watching Handmaid Tale before bed!)

For me it is all about the routine, the familiarity pathways that I set in my brain - 'It is time to sleep'. With any habit, it is about consistency and practice! As always with any habit setting, it has to start off small and specific, so that you will do it. e.g. do something relaxing. Be specific, e.g. 10 minutes of yin before bed, read 2 pages before bed, put on bedtime playlist and switch off notifications.

Here are some resources I thought I would also share with you!

  • One of my favourite podcasts with Dr Rangan Chatterjee - Feel Better, Live More! Episode on 'How to improve your sleep' with Professor Matthew Walker

  • 10 Day bedtime yin yoga practice to incorporate to your sleep routine - Click Here

  • Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation also known as “yogic sleep” or “effortless relaxation”. Guided Yoga Nidra

  • Yoga for better sleep (30 Min) - Click Here

  • Relaxation and Singing Bowls (25 Min) - Click Here

Yoga Poses for Better Sleep - Art by @Melissagohart

Join me for live yin yoga on the last Monday of every Month. Use code 'SLEEPBETTER' to get 20% discount. Book Here


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