Ask Keri: Lately I’ve been really overwhelmed and stressed — and it’s been affecting my sleep. What is your bedtime routine? Do you have any tips to sleep better?
Keri says: Getting quality shut-eye is essential and impacts every aspect of your life. If you sleep more, you’ll make smarter food choices, have the energy for all the things you need to do at home, and it will likely boost your mood. Sounds great, but it’s not always that easy, right? I hear you. I’m not a good sleeper. I have to work on this pillar to be just average at it.
Like most of us, there are a lot of things causing me stress right now, which I know doesn’t help my sleep cause. COVID-19 has changed everything for us all. I am constantly thinking about my business, my children most of all, and the overall state of the world. Am I doing enough? Listening enough? How am I being supportive to my children, my family, my colleagues? There never seems to be enough time in the day to tackle all the tasks, so each night my mind is going over my ever growing to-do list — did I make that doctor’s appointment, did I double book morning meetings, did I lose my patience too quickly with the kids? So, with life being busy and unpredictable, being able to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night isn’t easy.
There are a number of studies showing a consistent bedtime routine can increase sleep duration and sleep quality. My day is non stop (which many of you can relate to, I’m sure!), so a solid evening routine is really important for me to wind down. Sleep is something I make sure to prioritize.
I am going to walk you though my evening to hopefully inspire you to set up a routine of your own.
DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY
I am go-go-go through dinner. Then it’s dishes, wrap up a little work or help the kids with anything they may need, and finally take a breather. I might take a little time to watch a show (I never used to watch tv, but have recently gotten more into a couple different series and I have to say, it’s a joy) or read a book. I enjoy having chamomile tea while I do this. On many nights I’ll also take a supplement that aids in sleep as well.
HAVE A “GET READY FOR BED” RITUAL
Each night I have a set routine for washing up and getting my room in order for sleep. I wash my face (I switch up a bunch of clean cleansers. Right now I’m using a Barbara Strum one), moisturize and then use an oil (I’m oil obsessed!). If I have time (or I”m not too tired!), I’ll do some foam rolling (I use my friend Lauren Roxburgh’s) or use my Higher Dose sauna wrap.
Then, since I go to bed before my kids these days—I’ll go in and talk to each of them and say goodnight.
PREPARE YOUR ROOM
The setting of your room can set the tone for a good night’s rest. Try and minimize external noise (white noise helps), keep the room dark and turn off your phone. Better yet, move it away from your bed to limit distractions (I’m still working on this one). Ideally, my room is super organized (which helps me sleep). I also use lavender in my diffuser and have the temperature set to 68 degrees. A recent study found that bedroom temperature affected sleep quality more than external noise.
CLEAR YOUR MIND
I write lists when wrapping up my day and then again before bed. This helps take things off my mind before trying to relax. Writing to-dos and organizing is always helpful for me. And that includes writing down what is causing me stress, too. I like to think of it as putting my thoughts to bed.
And, of course a bedtime meditation. There are so many benefits to a daily meditation practice. I like to do it in the morning—and if there’s time in the afternoon as well. Here are five meditations that can help you tonight!