Preparing for a good night's sleep

How many of us sometimes struggle with getting enough sleep? I know I do. It can be so hard to quiet down and rest after a full day. 

But here’s the thing: getting enough sleep is perhaps the single most important thing we can do to support our health and wellness. 

Sleep restores and heals our bodies in ways that can’t be replaced by anything else. A good night’s sleep is critical for our mental, emotional and physical health. Think about it: how do you feel when you don’t get enough rest? Not great.

The benefits of sleep or the harm of not getting enough sleep are compounded over time. Get only a few hours of sleep one night, and you might be able to get through the next day okay. Make that a habit, and your health will end up paying for it. Similarly, regularly getting enough sleep will mean a clearer head, a stronger immune system, and a greater sense of well-being. 

I suggest approaching sleep as a ritual to be honored, rather than an obstacle to be overcome.

Especially for people who lead busy lives, sleep might seem like an impediment to doing what you want to be doing. I think it’s important to shift that perspective. One way I suggest doing so is looking at preparing for sleep as a nightly ritual that can bring a sense of closure to each day.

Here’s what I mean: approach sleep deliberately. Rather than watching Netflix in bed until you’re about to pass out, turn off your screens an hour before bedtime. If you have enough rooms in your home, you can even make your bedroom a sacred space—no screens allowed at all. 

Take some time to pray, meditate, reflect on your day, or connect with your partner, anything that brings you into the here and now. If you choose to read something, it should be for pleasure, not work or the news. The hour before bed can become a transition from the loud and busy energy of the day to something quieter before the silence of sleep. It can be a gentle period of winding down.

This means when your head finally does hit the pillow, your mind will be more calm. Sleep itself will come easier, and you’ll be more likely to sleep through the night.

I also suggest taking a little magnesium in the evenings. It helps to naturally soothe your nerves and prepare the body for rest. I often recommend the powder form, which you can dissolve into water and drink. (I like it! It’s fizzy!)

A shift in perspective can help change your relationship with sleep. Your body and mind will thank you :)