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3 Tips for Better Sleep

When was the last time you truly felt rested? 

I’m talkin’ the kind of rest that makes you feel clear minded and energized as you start your day. You know, the kind that makes you have the ability to respond well to problems that come up and also the gumption to actually do something about those big goals of yours.

When you think about it, sleep, or lack thereof, affects everything in day-to-day life. I could be having the most beautiful day and if I feel tired it’s difficult to actually enjoy it. The same goes for work. I love what I do, but when I’m exhausted, showing up to teach a yoga class isn’t very fun, and forgetting something on one side is much more likely to happen.. (shout out to anyone who yells at me in class for missing a pose on one side!).

I have to admit, I haven’t been feeling all that rested lately, and a lot of my friends and family haven’t either. 

When I get a good sleep, I’m energized, focused, and inspired. I enjoy teaching classes, planning workouts, and writing blog posts like this one. But when I’m tired, everything feels like it’s dragging and inspiration and motivation is low to say the least. 

I mean how can you work up the strength to get to the gym if you're feeling exhausted? How are you going to make that healthy meal instead of throwing the boxed on into the microwave if you are glued to the couch? It's possible, yes, but making healthy choices when you're tired is definitely more of a challenge. 

This got me thinking, we prioritize our work, our workouts, our meals, even our yoga practice, but do we prioritize our sleep? 

Is prioritizing sleep the key to actually hitting those goals and staying on track with those healthy habits? 

I think yes. 

Ok, so, now that we are on the same page (ie sleep needs to be a priority), HOW do we get better sleep? 

Here are my top 3 tips:

Reverse engineer your sleep

One of my favourite time management and calendar blocking experts, Amy Landino, recommends using reverse engineering and sleep buffers to hit your sleep goals. 

She suggests the following:

First, figure out what time you need to be up and out of bed the next day. 

Then, decide on how much sleep you need to feel rested. For me, it’s at least 7.5 hours, but 8 hours is even better. 

Last, once you figure out the amount of time you need to be sleeping each night to feel rested, add a half hour ‘fall asleep buffer’ and a half hour ‘get out of bed and get going for the day’ buffer to that time. For some people a 15 minute ‘get out of bed and get going for the day’ buffer is enough. 

This allows you to see exactly when you need to be IN bed for the night and includes time to actually wind down and fall asleep, as well as get up (hit snooze if needed) and get going for the day ahead. 

Once you have that time locked in you now have a tangible goal you can make happen and the wishy washy statement of “I really need to get to bed earlier tonight” can finally end. Because let’s be honest, who’s really getting to bed earlier just from saying, “I need to get to bed earlier”. Not me, that’s for sure. 

So for me, I know 8 hours of sleep allows me to feel my best, so I need to alot 9 hours toward my sleep.

I have 8 hours to sleep, a half hour to fall asleep, and a half hour to wake up and get out of bed. I know sleep buffers may sound unnecessary, but believe me, they make such a difference in actually getting enough sleep. I think a lot of us are simply not giving ourselves enough time to actually wind down and fall asleep and so we’re waking up feeling tired because even though we got to bed in time to get 8 hours of sleep, we were not actually sleeping for 8 hours. 

I have to be up by 8am and so that means I have to get to bed by 11pm to hit my sleep goals. This is absolutely attainable for me. 

If you do all your reverse engineering and come up with this amazing bed time but it’s not actually attainable because of work, commitments, a full schedule, or for whatever other reason, adjust and do the best you can. The important part is that you’re setting a clear and attainable sleep goal and you’re working toward making that bedtime happen.

Make your bedroom a relaxing space

Keep your bedroom tidy and free from clutter. Make your bed when you wake up so you have an inviting bed to crawl into at the end of the day. Use comfortable blankets and pillows and take the time to make your bed feel super cozy. 

Invest in a diffuser and diffuse relaxing essential oils like lavender and chamomile. If you have a cat, be careful with these, some essential oils are harmful to cats. Light candles and create a cozy vibe. 

Tuck away any work related items from the day such as books or notebooks. I have a desk in my bedroom where I’ll sometimes do work tasks. If my computer is on with notebooks open, my brain can get drawn to work tasks instead of winding down. I love feeling creative and excited about upcoming projects, but this train of thought isn’t helpful at 11:30pm when I’m trying to get to sleep. I try to make sure anything work related is put away each day, it’s a cue to my brain that work is done for the day and it’s time for rest. 

Avoid blue light from laptops and cell phones, and if you do tend to check your phone or laptop here and there before bed, try using blue light glasses. These glasses block out blue light which can decrease melatonin production.  

Embrace wind down rituals 

Creating a wind down routine before bed can be extremely helpful in telling your body and brain that it’s time for rest. Some examples of wind down activities are doing a skin care routine, taking a bath, practicing yin yoga, reading, meditation to name a few. Give your body a chance to switch from a go go go, get stuff done mindset to a relaxed and restful state. 


I hope these tips help you in some way! Start by adding one thing in and then add on over time. Happy sleeping!

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