In the book Getting Back to Happy from Marc & Angel Chernoff, they have a chapter about goals and rituals. I was listening to the book on Audible during my morning walk when they started talking about how important goals and rituals are in our lives. It really got me thinking of my sleep goals and how I use small daily rituals to help me accomplish my goals. It was confirmation for me that what I am doing is working and to keep doing it.
We never put our kids to bed and just expect them to fall asleep. We usually create a bedtime routine (rituals) for them. We give them a nice warm bath, a bedtime snack, cuddle them and/or read them a bedtime story. From these rituals, our children’s mind and body know when it’s time to fall asleep.
But for some reason, as adults, we forget about those bedtime rituals that really help us sleep better. We expect to be doing chores, be on the computer, read or watch tv until the last second before sleep. And then we wonder why we can’t just flip a switch and fall asleep. We haven’t prepared ourselves for sleep. Having a bedtime routine cues or mind and body that sleep is coming. While we sleep, both our physical body and mental body rejuvenates themselves, giving us energy the next day to be able to live a full and happy life.
What are my sleep goals?
- To get 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
- To keep a consistent bedtime routine as much as possible, even on weekends.
- To get good quality restorative sleep.
- To wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Most of you know that it wasn’t always like that for me. I suffered from lack of sleep for several years. I resorted to sleeping pills to get a few hours of sleep and coffee to function during the day. I could only sustain that for a few years before my body decided it was no longer going to be able to keep up that lifestyle. Since then, sleep has been my number one priority. When I don’t sleep enough or don’t get good quality sleep, I don’t feel well physically and mentally. I never want to feel that way again.
My desire is to wake up each morning rested and full of energy. To be able to do that, I need to get good quality restorative sleep every night. In their book, they say “The Universe isn’t going to make your desires come true. You are.” That is so true. How do I make my desires come true? I follow daily rituals…
Rituals: Practice Daily What You Want to Manifest Regularly.
Carve out a little time every day to focus on the things that matter most, and the benefits will return to you exponentially.
When we focus on the small daily rituals we don’t even realize how much work we are putting into our goals. It feels easy and doable and it becomes part of our routine. The next thing we know, we are achieving our perfect sleep every night and our lives change for the better. Because without sleep, nothing else works right.
What sleep rituals can you come up with that will help you sleep better?
Here are some rituals I’ve created for myself:
I leave my cell phone out of the bedroom.
I actually put it on “do not disturb” at 8:30 p.m. and leave it in the living room or kitchen. I have it programmed that only my parents’, husband’s or kid’s numbers will ring if they call me. They all know it needs to be an emergency after that time if they call or text. By leaving my phone in another room, I won’t be tempted to just look at one more thing and realize half an hour later that I wasted that much time browsing Facebook.
Turn off electronics 1 hour before bedtime.
This includes my laptop. I do have one exception to this. Once a week I meet with a wonderful group of women and we are on zoom from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm sharing our dreams and goals. This group brings a lot of joy into my life so I make the exception. All other nights, by 8:30 pm I try to be done on my electronic devices.
Moving our body is such a great stress and energy release. I try to walk most mornings (weather permitting). During my walk, I listen to audiobooks. It’s a way for me to catch up on any books I haven’t been able to read and move my body at the same time.
Practice mindfulness daily.
This can be journaling, tapping, daily gratitude or meditating. Being more mindful reduces our stress level, which can improve the quality of our sleep.
Reduce my caffeine intake.
I never have caffeine after lunch. Once I learned that 50% of the caffeine is still floating in our brain 7 hours after we consumed it, it was easy for me to no longer have that coffee after lunch. Just that one change has improved my sleep so much. Once in a while I forget about this and have coffee in the afternoon and it reminds me how sensitive I am to caffeine.
Reduce Alcohol intake.
Alcohol too close to bedtime interferes with your REM sleep. REM sleep is when your mental restoration happens. I do like a glass of wine once in a while, but I make sure to stop drinking as early as possible so the alcohol has time to move through my system before I go to bed.
I am constantly learning more ways to improve the quality of my sleep. Being an EFT Practitioner, I use tapping on a regular basis to reduce any stress that might keep me up at night. To learn how to use EFT to improve the quality of your sleep, please read https://tappingintosleep.com/how-to-use-eft-tapping-with-the-intention-to-improve-your-sleep/
Until next time, sleep tight!