I was chatting with a friend who works in the health industry recently who said by her estimate, more than 80% of people don't sleep well or feel rested in the morning. What do you think?
I wouldn't count myself in that 80% because I've spent time educating myself on great rest, and most importantly, I've put what I've learned into practice.
A lot of my energy comes from the self-care practices I've put in place before I head off to slumber sanctuary.
Curious about the self-care mistakes you might be making before bed?
WARNING: you might feel defensive when you read the mistakes, and your clever mind might start to make up excuses. I'm not attacking anyone here. I'm just sharing what choices I've made (backed up by sleep experts) that help me get a great night's sleep.
Ok, here are the mistakes:
Mistake #1. Watching stress-inducing TV, movies or videos before bed. That includes the news. Your subconscious notices everything you consume and the couple of hours before sleep are very precious. There are so many uplifting choices out there. Don't stress yourself out before sleeping.
Mistake #2. On the same note, having a TV in the bedroom just doesn't promote effective rest. The lighting alone is very disruptive to quality zzzz's.
Mistake #3. Speaking of technology in the bedroom, your smartphone doesn't belong there either. Give yourself a break! Leave your phone elsewhere in the house. If you've abandoned your landline and your cell is the only way people can reach you, at least leave it outside your door.
Mistake #4. Going to bed angry. When I was little, it was a rule in our house to resolve any disagreements or arguments prior to our heads hitting the pillow. As an adult, I still follow that sage advice. Forgiveness is so integral to your well-being, any time of the day, and especially before bed.
Mistake #5. Letting your mind run wild with things you didn't get done, or things you messed up during the day. Bedtime is not the time to use yourself as a punching bag! Instead, practice being gentle and loving by doing a 5 and 5 practice. On one hand, list 5 things you did well during the day. On the other, list 5 things you feel grateful for in that moment.
Mistake #6. Working right up until bedtime. i admit that some days go better than others on this point. There are times, when it feels critical to get something done before hitting the hay. I definitely notice a difference when I turn off the computer a couple of hours before bed, though.
Courageous Self-Care is a combination of what we do on the inside and the outside. It's a blend of things like monitoring our thoughts, practicing active forgiveness, making choices with our well-being in mind, being mindful, treating our bodies with love and acceptance and taking action.
Is there something in the list of Self-Care Bedtime Mistakes that you could shift for yourself? If you're feeling some resistance, then, probably that's the thing that will make the biggest difference.
I encourage you to choose one item and give it a try for 90 days. Yep, that's a long time, and that's what it will take for the new practice to reveal its benefits.
A world filled with people who are energized, refreshed and calm in chaos is worth working towards and bedtime is a great place to focus on self-care.