Surrey people! Here are some tips for better sleep!

Video Transcript

I’m going to briefly go over with you some of the key components of giving yourself a chance for a good night’s rest. I will describe to you a little bit of what I do. Having had multiple injuries in the past, I hope you can take a few things from there and create your own bedtime wind-down routine. This routine should give you the best chance for longer sleep and better quality of sleep, which I know is crucial for healing and restoration and will help you achieve your goals.

One of the most important things is to ensure that, despite the busyness that might still be present in the house when the sun goes down, we’ve finished our food and all eating at least 2 to 3 hours, preferably 3, but at least 2 hours before going to bed. This practice leads to a deeper night’s rest, as you’re not expending energy trying to churn and break down that food. Your body is ready to lay down in a horizontal position, and there’s also less chance of experiencing reflux, which I’ve suffered with in the past. Giving yourself at least that two-hour window to digest food is crucial.

Another significant aspect to consider is the effect of artificial lighting. With the invention of lights, our exposure to brightness at night has unnaturally prolonged, stimulating us unnecessarily. If you have a dimmer switch, bringing the lights down can help. If not, try turning off some lights or, if possible, light some candles. This practice harks back to times when the only source of light was fire, which was extinguished when it was time to sleep, signaling that it was time to rest. Creating the right environment for sleep should start at least an hour to an hour and a half before bed. In my home, with three boys, it gets really busy, so the first thing we do is reduce the stimuli by dimming the lights and cutting off screen time.

Additionally, a simple tip from my sister-in-law and Dr. Teja, a naturopath and pharmacist, involves taking two pure chamomile tea bags, soaking them in hot water for at least five minutes, and drinking this an hour and a half before bed. This helps avoid waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, a common disturbance. Also, using a lacrosse ball to release some muscle tension has been beneficial. I target a few points, either in my shoulders against a wall to release trigger points or work through my calves or quads, even rolling the bottom of my feet to restore tissue pliability. This can be especially helpful if you’re in pain or taking pain medication. Have a plan for managing your pain, whether it’s following our advice or sticking to a prescribed regimen.

If you’re dealing with acute inflammation, consider using an ice pack before bed to reduce it. If you prefer heat, that’s understandable too, but ensure it’s used at the right time. Engaging in five or ten minutes of stretching before bed can also set the tone for your bedtime routine, making it more intentional.

Before going to bed, if there are thoughts worrying you or making you anxious, keeping a journal by your bedside can be helpful. Writing down what you’re grateful for, the day’s wins, or even goals for the next day can release stress and prime your brain for rest. It’s crucial to find a place for your phone that’s not within arm’s reach. I don’t use an alarm but recommend charging your phone in the bathroom or somewhere it requires effort to reach. This reduces the temptation to use it before bed.

By minimizing stimuli and focusing on positive, healing thoughts, we can create a conducive environment for sleep. This time is crucial for flushing out stress and fostering healing on multiple levels. I look forward to hearing your feedback on this approach. Find a routine that works for you, stick with it, and make adjustments as needed. Introducing even one new practice can make a significant difference, as a lot of healing and restoration starts with mastering the fundamentals of sleep. Take care.

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