When my son was 3 years old, he could not believe that I didn't get to nap during my workday.
He thought it was crazy to go all day without a nap.
Thinking of his curiously perturbed face still makes me laugh - and I can't help but to think what life would be like if we prioritized our sleep like we do for kids. How much more productive would we be? How much more energy would we have? How much stress would we release? How much kinder would we be to ourselves and others if we properly rested our bodies? I know it's not always easy to get the sleep we want / need (hi, mom of two little ones here!) - but it's important that we try. Sleep is our foundation. It's the ripple to healthier choices throughout the day (ever notice you crave sweets and fattier foods on those really tired days?). It's efficiency and focus. It's recovery. It's our health. When we sleep good, we feel good. When we feel good, we do good - for ourselves and others. Sometimes the smallest steps lead to the biggest change, so while it may not always be easy - or possible - I offer you these small steps to try. For your sleep. For you. And for your health.
Work backwards. Know what time you want / need to wake-up and work backwards 7-9 hours to determine the time you should aim to be in bed to properly rest for your body. Make these times a non-negotiable by determining WHY it's important to you to stick to this schedule.
Establish a bedtime routine. Just like kids, our bodies need to wind down and having a bedtime routine helps to set this in motion. Decide what works for you, what you need and how much time it requires. Factor this into your nighttime routine and keep it consistent.
Limit electronics 30 minutes before bed. The blue light of electronics mimics daylight and effects our sleep patterns - making it hard to fall or stay asleep. Try to limit the use of electronics at least 30-minutes before bed (60 minutes if possible!).
Aim to eat dinner 2 hours before bedtime and be mindful of drinking prior to bed. If your body is digesting food during the night, it's working and not receiving the proper rest and recovery it needs. To help your body rest, avoid eating 2 hours before bedtime when possible. Limit drinks before bed to help you to