17 July 2012

Setting The Tone For Sleep

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With all the summer events and adventures this summer, healthy sleep has been taken a hit around here. I have been finding lots of activities to distract me from sleep. I hear continually on Facebook and Twitter about other people who aren't sleeping. Which has me thinking there are a whole lot of us out there who aren't sleeping.

So I have been making efforts this week to create a bedtime friendly atmosphere around the house and I am finding that it really helps. I think these steps will work for an individual or a household. They are not rocket science, but the fact that you hear them over and over suggests there may be something here. Here's what I've been doing:

1) In the evenings, rather than having the television on or spending time in front of the computer I have put on some good mellow music, lit candles around the house and read a book, written letters or done a small craft.  

2) I turn down lights lower than usual, put on peaceful, sleep welcoming music, light a candle near the bed.. 

3) Put on some scented relaxation lotion. Here's a favorite of mine. Taking a shower or a warm bath before the lotion is pretty lovely as well.

4) If you have family members who struggle to get to sleep, give them a little massage time. Head rubs and foot rubs are miraculous tools for quieting the mind. If you're by yourself, grab a roller massager and work your shoulders and feet over.

5) I have a great sleep meditation that I like to listen to sometimes when I get in bed. It's by Simonette Vaja, available on iTunes. It's 30-minutes and it's a Godsend some nights and often in airplanes when I need to relax, block out noise and catch up on the sleep I lost up all night packing.

Sometimes getting a good night's sleep just takes a little more thought and care throughout the early evening hours to get you there. How about you? What works to get you in the mood for a restful night's sleep?

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