Recently I listened to Shawn Stevenson’s book ‘Sleep Smarter’ on Audible. Some of the tips he gave has been hands down the most valuable I’ve received about health and wellness. I thought I would have been overwhelmed by the knowledge and not put anything that I learned into practice, but instead I’ve found it so easy to apply and allow better sleep to impact my life in a positive way so that I’m more switched on, focused, relaxed and happier. And this was all from just reading his book and applying some key take always that I knew would change my life for the better.
The first step was to read the book of course, and through that I came to a realisation of what I was doing that was having a negative impact on my day and accumulatively – my life! So to start off, I wanted to start my day right and to start your day right you need to END your day right – lol!
For some people, that may mean a lot of massive changes, if they are working shift work or have a job that makes them stay up past 10pm. (In the book you learn that the prime sleeping time is approximately between 10pm – 2am). Why??? – Well… you’ll have to read the book to get a full understanding.
For me, a perfect day incorporates many of his tips. I also use a combination of his strategies since I’m an avid listener to his podcast ‘The Model Health Show’. Do I still have bad days where I haven’t had my optimal sleep? Of course. But it’s a lot less frequent than in the past.
Here’s a few things I’ve started doing.
- Mono-focus. Meditation massively helps with this so I train my brain to be present rather than going a million miles per hour. Instead of worrying about the future or pondering about the past mistakes I’ve done, I instead focus on what’s right in front of me. Whether it be my work, my breathing, driving, yoga or my loved ones. Not allowing your mind to wander so often is a true gift to have. And being able to control your thoughts before bed will let you have a peaceful night’s sleep.
- Eat lighter meals. As a yoga teacher, I teach my last class at 7.15pm and then head home to have my dinner. By the time I eat my dinner it’s usually just after 9pm. While many people are able to eat their dinner earlier, I need to think about having a lighter meal as I want to go to bed asap, but also not make my body have to digest a heavy meal. So I tend to stick to eating smaller portions so I’m not going to bed hungry and also making sure I’m having my greens to help with digestion.
- Exercise. I love yoga, however I’ve always been a late arvo yoga kind of girl. One of the tips Shawn shares is to wake up at a set time each day and to be able to do that you need to have something that excites and motivates you to wake up. And for me – that’s yoga! So I now wake up at 6am and do my Sun Salutations and perhaps some hip openers to start my day right. I now wake up excited to face the day and full or energy.