Why boundaries are so important for a great night’s sleep
Alyssia founder of The Sleep Movement, takes us through boundaries, what they are and why they are so important for a great night’s sleep.
Most people think going to sleep starts when you hop into bed. But did you know, the best way to get a good night’s sleep starts a lot earlier in the evening?
Why are setting boundaries important?
Having clear boundaries is so important for a great night’s sleep because we want to ensure our body is well rested and relaxed before we snuggle up, so we can maximise the quality of our sleep.
When you think about it, so often we finish a full day’s work and then we come home to essentially start our night shift. Most of the time we walk in the door and suddenly we start racing around to cook dinner, look after our kids, clean up, tackle some life admin and if we’re lucky we may just be able to sneak in an episode of our favourite show. By the time we hop into bed our mind is usually racing, working in overdrive, yet we still expect ourselves to flick a switch and fall asleep in an instant.
So how can we set boundaries?
Setting boundaries doesn’t have to be a comprehensive 12 step routine. It can be one simple change you make to your habits that’ll create the world of difference. The three main types of boundaries are: physical, time and mental boundaries.
Physical boundaries – Physical boundaries refer to your sleep environment. This involves making sure you have a comfortable bed and pillow. It’s also important to ensure your bedroom is only used for sleep, helping to minimise unwanted distractions.
Time boundaries – Time boundaries are about establishing consistent sleep and wake times, helping to regulate your body’s internal clock. This helps to create a routine making it easier to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day.
Mental boundaries – Mental boundaries are anything you can do to help your mind unwind before bed. This can reduce stress and in turn make it easier to fall asleep.
What are some quick and easy sleep boundaries we can implement today?
Turn off email notifications
We’ve heard it over and over again. Looking at our phones before bed is not great for our sleep. But given it may not be practical for everyone to go completely cold turkey, you can start by switching off notifications for certain applications. Your emails are an excellent place to start. Given the fact we’re all so accessible with our smartphones at all times, the boundaries between work and rest become blurred. By setting some clear personal boundaries we can ensure we give our mind time to rest and recharge. There is nothing worse than going to bed mulling over how you’re going to reply to something work-related in the morning.
Remove any televisions or computers from your bedroom
Having electronics in your bedroom can act as a source of stimulation that may interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. You want your sleep space to be used primarily for sleep to help send a clear signal to your mind that it’s time to nod off. Experts have also long told us, exposure to blue light before bed is not ideal for our sleep quality.
Set a realistic bedtime and be consistent
Having a consistent bedtime is important for sleep because it helps regulate your body’s internal clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. When we go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, our bodies are in sync and in turn our circadian rhythm becomes more consistent and stable. However, it’s important to be realistic with our desired bedtime. There’s no point saying we want to be in bed by 9 o’clock every night if we know this isn’t realistic with our lifestyle. By doing this we will only set ourselves up for failure and create a sense of bedtime resentment.
Do one relaxing activity for yourself before bed
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to bedtime routines but the best thing to do is keep it simple. When you focus on one activity each night before bed, it becomes a lot easier to remain consistent. Some examples of how you can unwind include enjoying a warm cup of tea, doing some breathing exercises, meditating, or even better, enjoying the INTU Sleep & Skin Renewal super powder, so you can wake up to a re-energised body, mind and hydrated skin. Once you get into a good rhythm with one bedtime habit, you can start layering on other activities, such as reading for 15 minutes or enjoying a short pilates workout.
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