Complete Pediatric, Family, and Athletic Health Centre

Sleep Awareness Week- Tips to Improve Sleep Patterns

Sleep is so important for many reasons, including functioning at our best everyday. The first week of March is known as National Sleep Awareness Week. To help celebrate and support this month we want to share some tips and tricks to help improve sleep patterns!

Sometimes sleep can be hard to come by. We may not feel tired enough, or our thoughts won’t slow down enough to truly fall asleep. There are some things we can do to help with our sleep patters, to provide a more consistent and well rested sleep.

  1. Allow your sleep environment to be conducive to sleeping- Make it your sleep sanctuary. Keep artificial light out and natural light in. Ensure there are no distractions to really allow you to relax into slumber. Stop watching television or looking at  your phone at least 30 minutes before your decide to sleep. Try a more relaxing activity before bed such as reading or journaling, which will help you unwind. You can also try listening to relaxing music or white noise to lull you into sleep.
  2. Deep breathing or meditation- Deep breathing and meditation are one in the same. Find a comfortable position and allow your mind to focus on your breath. If you are unsure of how to start something like this, try a meditation app  which will lead you in a guided meditation specific to sleep. This can also calm your mind down, so instead of focusing on the one million things running through your head you focus on one intention, which is relaxing and preparing for sleep.
  3. Keeping hydrated- I feel like we have mentioned this so often. Water is so important! You want to make sure that you are keeping hydrated in the day so you can allow yourself to stop taking in any liquids too close to bed time. This will help prevent a midnight trip to the washroom but will allow you to stay hydrated for the morning ahead.
  4. Essential oils- They really help with anything and everything! Find a scent that can calm and relax your body. Scents like lavender and eucalyptus work great in situations like these! You can even try using these essential oils in a nice warm bath before bed which will also allow your body to unwind and prepare for sleep.
  5. Try and create a routine- This will allow your body to create a sleep schedule. Wake up and head to bed at the same time each day. Engage in your nightly routine before bed to allow you body to relax and engage in an uplifting morning routine to help prepare for the day. By doing this, your body will recognize when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up and get started with your day.
  6. If you nap, nap early- Napping is amazing, no doubt. However, napping may confuse your body, keeping you up later at night. A suggestion would be to try and avoid napping. However, if you really need to nap do it earlier in the day. This will give your body enough time to reenergize itself but be ready for sleep at bed time.
  7. Exercise and eat well!- This really is key. If we take care of our bodies, feed it the right nutrition and keep it active, sleep will come easier at the end of the day!

There you have it- seven tips to help improve your sleep patterns!

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