It’s a brand new month and we’re getting closer and closer to the official launch of 80 Day Obsession. You’ve heard me talk a lot about practicing self-care and you’re going to hear it a lot more, because it’s essential to well rounded wellness and a big part of 80 Day Obsession

So, for the month of December I’m going to give you all my self-care tips and tricks! Like our muscles and our meal prep game, self-care is something that takes a little practice and a lot of intention – at least for most of us. It starts with letting go of the idea that taking care of yourself is selfish. It’s the exact opposite. It’s completely necessary for you to tackle all of your other commitments without getting sick and burned out. So, let’s start with one of the most important self-care topics – SLEEP!

The average person is unhappy with the amount of sleep they get.  Getting to sleep can be hard for many of us. Whether it’s busy schedules that keep us up too late and require us to get up too early or worry and stress about the days tasks that didn’t get completed or tomorrow’s to do list.  But with a little bit of intention you can improve your ability to fall asleep fast and maximize your rest and recovery time. Try these 10 techniques for a more restful night’s sleep.

  1. Prepare Your Bedroom – Keep it cool. The ideal room temperature for a good night’s sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees. If the room is too or too cold, you will likely wake up during the night. 
  2. Keep it dark & quiet – It’s tempting to fall asleep to TV or music, but switch off the TV and put your phone on silent. Draw your shades and invest in thicker, darker curtains if necessary to help block out outside sounds and lights. You will fall asleep faster and stay asleep without background noise and lights.
  3. Invest In Support – This might not be something you can do right away, but if you’re mattress is uncomfortable or you find yourself waking up achy and constantly adjusting your position considering saving up for and investing in a more supportive mattress. In the meantime, try replacing your pillow, purchasing a body pillow or getting a mattress topper to help improve your sleep and body position.
  4. Get a Nightstand Notepad and Pen – If thoughts of your to do list keep your mind spinning at night or you best business ideas come to you the minute your head hits the pillow…get a notepad and keep in nearby. Before you hit the lights, write out your to do list to get it out of your head and onto paper. If you wake up with a nagging to do or amazing biz idea, quickly jot it down and get right back to sleep.
  5. Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation – This simple practice takes about 15 minutes and helps relieve tension in your body from the day’s activities. Lying on your bed, start by holding a contraction in each muscle for 5 seconds then pause for 10 seconds and breathe deeply in between each muscle tensing.
    • Start with your forehead and raise your eyebrows as far as you can
    • Move to your eyes and clench them tightly shut
    • Open your mouth wide
    • Raise your shoulders up to touch your ears
    • Tighten your chest by taking a deep breath
    • Suck your stomach in
    • Make a muscle with your right arm while clenching your fist. Next, do your left arm
    • Tighten your glutes by squeezing them together
    • Squeeze your left thigh while pulling your left toes toward you. Next, do your right leg
    • Curl your toes downward
  6. Try Humming – humming has the same calming effect on the nervous system as deep breathing.
  7. Use Sound Meditation – Sounds like ocean waves or the wind blowing through the trees help our minds to relax because our brains categorize them as non-threatening sounds. Set an app on your phone to play soothing sounds while you fall asleep.
  8. Try 4-7-8 Breathing – This breathing technique is promoted by Dr. Andrew Weil as a tool for experiencing profound inner relaxation and reducing feelings of anxiousness. Breathe in for 4 seconds taking in the air slowly and allowing it to fill your stomach and all the way up to your chest. Hold your inhale for 7 seconds. Breathe out for 8 seconds slowly allowing all the air to empty from your chest and stomach. Repeat the process 4 times.
  9. Use Guided Imagery – Start by focusing your attention on an image that you find relaxing. Relax, get comfortable and focus your mind on this image and all of it’s details. What about it makes it relaxing. Imagine each little detail and feel your body and mind relaxing. If you get distracted by thoughts of your day calmly bring your mind back to your image. The more you practice this technique the better you will get at it.
  10. Remember, your bed is for sleep. If you find yourself lying awake struggling to sleep for long periods of time get up and get out of your bed. Go through your bed time routine again or practice some of these relaxation techniques from a comfortable chair or the couch then return to bed.

The way you feel when you’re awake, depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping. A consistent, good-night’s sleep is important to healthy brain function and emotional well-being, weight loss, muscle recovery and basic daytime performance. So take the time to practice good sleep habits and work on adjusting your schedule to get a minimum of 7 hours a night.

Sleep Well! You’ll hear me say it a lot during 80 Day Obsession so start practicing it now!