Sufficient sleep leads to improved mental agility, ability to concentrate, and creativity. It’s no surprise that we often find creative answers or solutions to our problems in our dreams or shortly upon waking. But how can we best relax into the kind of quality sleep that leads us to new discoveries?
Since 2008, our entire focus at Faceplant has been to provide the physical tools to help achieve deep sleep. From relaxing words on pillowcases, to smooth-as-silk bamboo bedding and buttery soft bamboo pajamas that are temperature regulating and drape like a dream, we provide the setting and the outfit to help you sleep. But is that all it takes?
First and foremost is honoring your own body.
My bedtime is between 9:30-10 pm. It just is. Sure, I can stay up late to watch the end of the movie with my family, but if I miss my ‘window’, it’s more difficult to fall asleep. My son and husband, however, find it difficult to fall asleep before 11.
Pay attention and respect the time that your body prefers. Practice honoring your body’s natural rhythms and you’ll quickly improve the quality of your sleep.
The evening bath with salts works for good reason. When added to water, bath salts break down into magnesium and sulfate which can be absorbed through the skin. Magnesium plays an important role in your nervous system and helps to quiet and calm the body. It may also help relieve anxiety and depression which often interfere with quality sleep.
It's simple. Run a bath. Add your salts. Soak for 20 minutes. Done.My favorite? Dr. Teal’s Lavender Epsom soak.
Hot tea anyone? Make it Chamomile or Valerian root. Chamomile is long recognized as a sleep inducer. It’s calming effects can be attributed to an antioxidant called apigenin, found naturally in my favorite evening elixir, which binds to receptors in the brain to reduce anxiety and initiate sleep.
Valerian root, on the other hand, induces sleepiness by increasing the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter in the brain. Any warm herbal tea before sleep is comforting – just add a splash of local honey and you can’t go wrong!
WHITE NOISE/DARK ROOM:
Anything consistent, steady, subtle and not-too-loud will do. On the road, I use an app that is aptly called “White Noise”. At home, I rely on my Molekule Air Mini filter to double duty as nighttime white noise.
You’ve noticed how beautifully Vegas hotel rooms block the light so you can sleep late into the day and gamble late into the night, right? Although that’s not my game, I DO appreciate the blackout curtains enough that I’ve added them to my own bedroom.
Experts recommend covering the lights on smoke detectors, air filters and any computers or TV’s to further control light pollution in the room. Melatonin production, a natural hormone that tells your body it’s time to sleep, is adversely affected by any artificial light and covering those pesky light with duct tape is a simple solution. Even if you’re able to fall asleep in a light room, you may not be achieving full REM sleep and your best rest in a room laden with light pollution.
I want to be an enlightened sage. I’m not. I often have difficulty quieting my mind at night. Call me a meditative charlatan, but I lean on the assistance of a variety of beautiful soothing voices and online guided meditations to help.
A 10 or 20-minute Yoga Nidra takes you through a rotation of body parts and encourages you to relax digit by digit and limb by limb. I use a free online ap called Yoga Nidra – Deep Relaxation. By the time they quietly whispers to relax my whole body, I’ve usually already drifted off.
Prefer something a little less structured to relax? Donna D’Cruz has a beautiful, soothing voice and several options for brief guided meditations to that simply remind you to Let Go.
In honor of “National Relaxation Day”, we’d like to invite you to relax. Just by adding a few of these strategies, you’ll achieve better sleep, deeper concentration, and creative solutions throughout your life. Relax. You’ve got this!