There’s this theme of “mindfulness” floating around on the internet. All kinds of inspirational quotes follow and how being mindful throughout your day can lead to a focus on what matters. This seems impossible, to stop and think, during a busy day of raising up three kids, running a business, and keeping marriage a priority. Throw in the 100’s of tasks in between those areas, and Whoa!… insert overwhelmed. Defined, mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
How does this play into sleep?
Well, besides the fact that I’ve been up at night not being able to fall asleep due to worry, I wanted to play connect the dots on mindfulness vs busyness.
Is the reason you can’t sleep at night due to a checklist that doesn’t have all the boxes ticked? Or, is it because without being mindful, priorities have gone to the wayside. There are so many things pulling at our attention, literally if you still have toddlers at your toes pulling at your shirt.
Here are some unconventional tips to sleep better at night. Trust me, they work! You won’t find counting sheep on the list!
1. Keep your priorities straight- throughout the day, make a point to check off what matters. I am the queen of ideas. Does your mind ever turn off? I’ve found through chatting with friends, that some people literally have a blank mind sometimes. This blows my mind! It’s always on. This isn’t a good thing as I can get pulled away by the next best thing instead of putting work in on what needs to be done. Checking off what needs to be done at the start of my day leaves less anxious worry throughout the rest of the waking hours.
2. Create a routine- In the morning, it’s my goal to pick up, clean a few things, and get laundry going before the coffee brews. My morning routine sets the pace for the entire household’s day. Even more important is a nightly routine. I’m not sure what works for you, but for me it starts in the bathroom. Take the time to wash your face (oil cleansing is my new favorite method!) and brush my teeth. Start the dishwasher. Crawl into bed and turn on Netflix. I keep lavender essential oil close by to put a drop on my hands and inhale or to put into a diffuser. This is my time to tune out the day, and I can do so peacefully if tip #3 has been the focus.
3. Think on what matters- “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whater is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things.” Philippians 4:8. Do you trust that what God has put into His Word as good practice for mindfulness is still relevant today? I do! Behind every inspirational quote, there is a scripture that has already been written.
My Daddy always said that all of life’s problems could be found in the Word. I tested that one! I urge you to give it a try. Before you do a quick word search for “scripture on fear”, dig into your Bible to find the stories already been written with an ending.
4. Be in consistent conversation with yourself- My Mamaw was always muttering. Talking under her breath was her consistent conversation. Check in with your thoughts and emotions. Pay attention to that tightness in your chest or weightless feeling in your legs. Then provide an antidote!
Prayer is my antidote. Is it that way for you? Taking each moment during the day and being in conversation with the Lord will lead to better insight on your next best step.
5. Clear your mind- I mentioned Netflix, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen advice in any article written for “how to sleep better”. But it works for me! For a mind that’s constantly on, tuning into a fictional character’s life story helps me tune out the clamor of the world. What works for you to clear your mind?
I want to reiterate this thought, Is the reason you’re not sleeping at night due to busyness throughout your day instead of mindful intention?
A couple of extra tips for good night’s sleep: have a routine with your kids; explore aromatherapy for helping to clear and settle the mind; go to sleep at the same time as your spouse; have a lights out time and wake up time that is consistent.
Here are some quick facts about how important sleep is:
• while sleeping, your heart and blood vessels repair
• lack of sleep contributes to obesity, depression, and diabetes among other health issues
• between the hours of 1:00-3:00 am, your liver detoxes. If you’re not asleep by this time, expect to be kept up with restless legs, possible itchiness if you suffer from eczema, or just overall restlessness
• you need between 7-9 hours of sleep.
• good sleep can maximize brain function and athletic ability!
What fact most resonates with you? Moms with brain fog, turn off the lights sooner. Restless legs, create a routine and be consistent.
Here’s a sleep tracker for you! Fill it out and see how sleeping consistently makes you feel during the day.