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Dream On: Unveiling the Secret Sauce of Quality Sleep

It always amazes me how my dog Lucy can be playing with a toy one minute and then all of a sudden she is fast asleep at my feet. While she appears to be sound asleep, with the creak of a door she is wide awake looking for her adventure.

Aimee's dog Lucy sleep in a chair

Lucy has several comfortable and fluffy beds throughout our house.

Aimee's dog Lucy sleeping in the flower chair

And she loves to snore very loudly in every single one of them!

She even loves to sleep on the hot pavement in the middle of summertime!

Aimee's dog Lucy sleeping on the hot pavement

So I'm curious, how did you sleep last night?  Were you tossing and turning, thinking about the events of the day or what you need to get done tomorrow?  Or perhaps you come alive at night and get all your best work done. Do you live by the motto, “I can sleep when I’m dead?!”

We are constantly on the go and many of us take pride in how productive we can be, checking things off our never ending to-do list or staying up late to finish a work project.  But what gets sacrificed in the process?   

Sleep is not just a luxury; it's a fundamental aspect of our overall wellbeing. In this blog, we'll delve into the importance of sleep and explore how crafting an evening routine can set the stage for a restful and rejuvenating night's rest.

Why is Sleep So Important?

Sleep plays a crucial role in nearly every aspect of our lives, impacting our physical health, mental wellbeing, cognitive function, and emotional balance. Here are some key reasons why prioritizing sleep is essential:

Adequate sleep is vital for supporting our immune system, regulating hormones, and promoting optimal cardiovascular health. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health conditions.

Sleep is closely intertwined with our mental health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, good sleep can help you regulate your emotions as well as improve cognitive skills like learning and attention.  Quality sleep also fosters emotional resilience, enhances mood, and reduces the risk of developing mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Cognitive Function

During sleep, the brain consolidates memories, processes information, and clears out toxins. A good night's sleep is essential for optimal cognitive function, including attention, problem-solving, creativity, and decision-making.

Energy and Vitality

Proper rest is the cornerstone of sustained energy levels and overall vitality. Without sufficient sleep, we're more likely to experience fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating throughout the day.

How to Craft an Evening Sleep Routine

Creating a consistent evening routine can help signal to your body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Here are some tips for building an effective evening routine:

1. Set a Consistent Bedtime. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body's internal clock and promotes better sleep quality.  I'm convinced even Lucy has this down to a science!

2. Limit Screen Time. The blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, and computers can disrupt the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Power down electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime to promote relaxation.

3. Create a Relaxing Environment. Make your bedroom conducive to sleep by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains, white noise machines, or earplugs to minimize disturbances. Espcially if you also have a dog (or partner) who snores!

4. Establish a Wind-Down Ritual. Engage in calming activities before bed to signal to your body that it's time to relax. This could include reading a book, taking a warm bath, practicing gentle yoga or meditation, or listening to soothing music.

5. Avoid Stimulants. Steer clear of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in the hours leading up to bedtime, as they can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

6. Limit Heavy Meals and Fluid Intake. Avoid large meals and excessive fluids close to bedtime to prevent discomfort and minimize the likelihood of waking up during the night.

7. Practice Stress Management. If worries or anxieties keep you up at night, try journaling, practicing deep breathing exercises, or engaging in relaxation techniques to calm your mind before bed. Snuggles with our furry animals also count!

If this seems overwhelming to you, just pick one tip for a week and see how it goes.  If you are trying to get to bed earlier, move your bedtime down by 15 min each week until you get to the time that works best for you.

Prioritizing rest is essential for our physical health, mental wellbeing, and overall quality of life. By creating an evening routine that promotes relaxation and prepares your body for sleep, you can cultivate healthy sleep habits and enjoy the countless benefits of a restful night's rest. So tonight, take the time to unwind and invest in your sleep – your body and mind will thank you for it.

Need help setting goals and tracking progress?  Try our My Lotus WellBeing App - click below to download from the Apple App Store. Or, consider working with me, a certified Health & WellBeing Coach.


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