Written By Jamie Benjamin
Healthy sleeping habits will make a world of difference to just about everything in your life. Proper rest will allow you to deal with stress and challenges far more effectively, and will give you the energy you need to achieve your goals. However, it isn’t just about the amount of sleep you get. You also need good-quality sleep every night. In this article, we’ll explore how to set yourself up to get the right sleep for your body.
Set Your Internal Clock Through Consistency
All of our bodies have an internal clock, which is why we find it so disorienting when we travel to a different time zone. If you can go to bed and get out of bed at the same time every day, you’ll be setting your body clock.
Your brain will know when it’s time to shut down and get ready to sleep. It will also know when it’s expected to wake up and get ready for the day ahead.
The key to this is consistency. You need to stick to these hours—or as close to them as possible—even over the weekend. If you’ve had a poor night’s sleep, you should still get up at the same time in the morning to reinforce the message for your internal clock.
Reduce Your Intake Of Sleep-Interfering Stimulants
Food and drink we enjoy in our everyday life, like coffee, tea, and chocolate, can easily keep us awake. They contain stimulants like caffeine and sugar that aren’t necessarily bad for you, but they do stimulate your brain. If you ingest them too close to your bedtime--within four to six hours—they may prevent you from falling asleep.
You should also consider making your evening meal lighter and earlier. If you’re still digesting food when you go to bed, it can be difficult to fall asleep. The heavier the meal, the longer it will take to digest, and the more likely it is to cause indigestion too.
Establish a Pre-Sleep Routine
Our bodies and minds love a routine. Human beings are, after all, creatures of habit. To prepare yourself for sleep, you can set a routine that relaxes you and tells your mind that it’s time to slow down and switch off for the day.
This can include taking a bath, reading a book, and drinking hot chamomile tea or warm milk. You should absolutely avoid doing anything like work or exercise that gets your heart rate up. Even having a heated conversation, whether good or bad, can interrupt your body’s preparation for sleep.
Update Your Bedroom
Where you sleep is just as important as how you prepare for sleep. If your bedroom is too busy, crowded, loud, or stimulating, you may have difficulty getting your mind to switch off and your body to relax.
Take a look around your bedroom and see if there’s anything that could interfere with your sleep. Noises that are either constant or loud, light from inside or out, high or low temperature, and even your mattress and bedding are all factors. Once you’ve identified the issues, go about fixing them.
For external noise, listening to a guided sleep meditation, a white noise machine or using ear plugs can help reduce or eliminate it. For light, consider blackout curtains, (the heavy fabric will also help with noise reduction) or wear a sleep mask over your eyes.
It’s important to look at the tech and devices you have in your room. TVs, tablets, mobile phones, and even a smartwatch can keep you awake because of notifications, machine humming, or display lights. If you can remove them entirely, or remove them from sight when you’re in bed, you’ll likely have a better night’s sleep.
The temperature of your room can affect how well you sleep, as can your beddings. You may struggle to sleep if your room is too hot, and you won’t be able to relax fully if you’re constantly cold as well. Ensure you have proper ventilation or heating and that your duvet is thick or thin enough to regulate your temperature correctly.
Your mattress should also be firm and offer adequate support, and it’s important that you have the right type for your body. It may hurt your back if it’s too soft, and you may struggle to get comfortable if it’s too hard.
Understand The Impact Of Natural And Artificial Light
Light has a major impact on our bodies and brains—both natural light and artificial. Instinctually, we’re more awake during daylight and grow tired when the sun goes down. Artificial light can simulate this same instinctual reaction, affecting our ability to understand when to go to sleep naturally. Computer screens, smartphones, and televisions can all keep our brains awake simply because of the light they emit.
Part of your pre-sleep routine should be to switch off screens and start reducing the amount of light around you. It’s good to switch off the main lights in the room and have a softer light source from a bedside lamp just before you go to sleep.
If you’re tired during the day, you can give your body a jolt of daylight to help you stay awake. Take a quick break during your lunch hour or afternoon coffee time to go and stand outside. This exposure to sunlight will help stimulate your mind to keep on working.
Don’t Force Sleep
A huge hindrance to a good night’s rest is trying to force the issue. We can lie in bed for hours worrying about why we’re still awake, tossing and turning to get comfortable, to no avail. All this does is raise your anxiety levels, which will always prevent you from falling asleep.
If you haven’t fallen asleep within 20 minutes of switching off your light and settling down, don’t try and force yourself to do so. Instead, do something relaxing that can distract your mind from the fact that you aren’t sleeping. However, make sure that it’s not an activity that will wake you up by stimulating your body or mind. The key is to stay relaxed until you’re feeling tired enough to stop what you’re doing and drift off to sleep.
By maintaining healthy sleep habits, you’ll feel more refreshed upon waking and be more productive during the day. You’ll reduce your stress levels significantly as well. Cultivating a healthy sleep routine is an important part of your well-being, and it’s worth the effort.
To those that have supported our efforts in 2020
Our meditations have helped you to relax and to sleep
And we want you to know, in our hearts we do keep
An abundance of gratitude, for letting us help you each night
You are the reason we do it, you are our guiding light
Whenever we start writing a new meditation for you
We imagine you listening, relaxing and falling asleep as we do
We hope that our words help to lighten your day
And make any stress that’s inside you, just fade away
You’re not just a subscriber, your a person we care about too
So we hope that our love and caring comes through
When you listen to our sessions and begin to fall asleep
It’s so much better than being alone, just counting sheep
With a voice that will relax you like a sweet lullaby
Close your eyes and just listen, there’s no need to try
To fall asleep quickly, it will just happen to thee
And you’ll awake each morning refreshed as can be
At Tracks To Relax we do all this for you
Just listen to a session and you’ll know that it’s true
Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you and to yours
We wish you the best possible sleep, without any loud snores
With gratitude and appreciation, Alan & Nikki
Join our online family by subscribing to our premium podcast
on Patreon here.
Wow, it’s November already and Thanksgiving (US) and the Christmas Holidays aren’t too far away. It’s hard to believe that we are already thinking about the topic for our 2020 Holiday Season Meditation!
We’ve been busy getting the house ready for the cold winter ahead and we’ve finally got most of the leaves picked up around the yard. Now if we can just get the snowblower started!
We thought it would be fun this month to put up a poll on Patreon that everyone can participate in. We’ll post it soon so you can have a say in what meditations get created in December. You can only vote once, so be sure to vote for the session you want the most
Here’s some stuff that’s coming soon:
Alice in Wonderland Chapter 5 - Alice continues to change sizes and look for ways to get into that beautiful garden! (Silver/Gold Patrons)
Inner Peace - Discover the inner peace within you as you relax completely and drift off into a deep restful sleep. (Bronze, Silver/Gold Patrons)
The Zen Zone - Get in the Zen Zone! Focus on your goals as well as things you want to achieve! Whether you want to get focused or stay focused, this afternoon meditation will help you see, hear and feel what it’s like at a point in the future when you’ve achieved your goal so you can get/stay motivated to make it happen! All with the sounds of zen music and nature. (Gold Patrons)
Nov 28th - Stop Procrastination - Relax and fall asleep as you learn some cool ways to trick your brain into getting things started and/or completed! You’ll also receive uplifting “I can” affirmations to re-enforce your ability to take action! (Gold Patons)
Tracks To Relax Merch Now Available
We’ve just launched our merch store which offers t-shirts & coffee mugs with the Tracks To Relax logo on them. If you want to start your day off drinking your coffee or tea from a Tracks To Relax Mug or slip into a cool t-shirt before you meditate with us, you can check out our stuff at www.TracksToRelaxStore.com
Atlantic Challenge 2020
Natasha Lambert is a disabled sailer and adventurer who is a true inspiration! On November 22nd 2020 Natasha will depart from the Canary Islands to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to the Island of St. Lucia. This would be a challenging journey for anyone, but it’s especially challenging for Natasha as she was born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
Natasha’s Nautitech Open 46 Catamaran has been modified by Natasha’s father Gary Lambert to allow Natasha to control the boat using a sip and puff system. Simply by sipping or puffing on a series of “straws” Natasha can control many of the boats primary controls, including the sails, autopilot and more.
Natasha, is undertaking this challenge to raise much needed funds for 3 charities; the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, RNLI and the MissIsle School of Sip Puff Sailing. The aim is to raise £30,000 to share equally between the 3 charities.
To learn more about Natasha’s upcoming adventure please visit http://www.missisle.com/2018-and-beyond/
Thank you so much for all your support of what we do! Please stay positive and safe and feel free to reach out if you have any comments or suggestions for us! We’d love to hear from you! www.trackstorelax.com/contact.html
Peace and love,
Alan & Nikki
Wow it's almost fall already and there's not end in sight to this Covid-19 Pandemic. It's no wonder people are stressed out and need help falling asleep. The moment people close their eyes their mind probably starts racing and gets filled with all the worries and anxiety that this situation has brought into our lives.
We've had a lot of positive feedback from listeners who say that our Guided Sleep Meditations help them forget about all this for awhile so they can get the sleep they need. That's one of the reasons we create our meditations, to make people's lives a little bit easier, no matter the circumstances and help them reduce stress and stay rested.
Recently we added a new subscription option for our Premium Content by making it available on the Super Cast platform. Super Cast is a premium podcast subscription site that allows us to offer our premium content based on monthly subscriptions. When you subscribe to our premium podcast on Super Cast you receive a Private RSS Feed containing our premium sleep meditation that you can add to your favourite podcast player. One nice thing about this service is that you can add the feed to the podcast player of your choice by simply clicking on the link in the email you receive when you join.
A wide variety of Podcast Players are supported by the Super Cast Platform (see the list below), and as new sleep meditations are released, the show up in the player automatically. Two subscription levels are available, Premium which offers about 128 sleep meditations and Premium Plus which offers over 160 sessions. Premium subscribers will receive 2 new meditations each month and Premium Plus will receive 4.
If you're interested in subscribing to Tracks To Relax Premium you can start a 3 day free trial on Super Cast by Clicking Here.
We should also mention that our subscribers on Patreon have a similar option and also receive a Priave RSS Feed, the main difference is that on Patreon, you'll need to copy the feed address and manually add it to your favourite podcast player. Patreon subscriptions start at just $2 with our Bronze level (1 new session a month) and a Silver ($5) and Gold ($10) level are also available. With patreon you also have the option of paying annually and saving 10% which is nice if you plan on listening for awhile and don't want to miss any new releases. If you're not already a patron, you can learn more by clicking here.
Recently we've travelled from Ontario to Edmonton, Alberta and are working from Alberta for a month. Our daughter is expecting our second Grandchild, so we had to figure out a way to travel across the country while maintaining isolation. This includes not using public restrooms, using masks in any public place and seriously maintaining social distancing.
We didn't want to fly because we would have to isolate again for two weeks after arriving and we didn't want to take the risk of doing that. The solution was to purchase a 5th wheel trailer and a truck for our trip.
We took 4.5 days to make the drive. Towing a 12,000LB of trailer certainly makes the drive more challenging than just driving the family car as uneven roads and steep hills directly affect speed and handling of the vehicle and trailer. The roads through Winnipeg on the Trans Canada Highway were the worst roads we encountered, absolutely horrible!
This is our first time RVing and it's exciting to have the comforts of home when we stop for the evening. Being able to use our own bathroom along the way has been pretty convenient as well.
We are now parked in a RV park in Edmonton and are enjoying visiting with our 1st grandchild, our daughter and her husband. In a few days our second daughter will be joining us in Edmonton after travelling (isolated) from Vancouver Island.
The day before we left, our laptop crashed during an update and we've had to find a place in Edmonton to get it repaired, we'll be back to editing and creating new meditations today with a bit of luck! We're currently editing our sleep story edition of Chapter 1 of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and hope to release it in the next day or two, so if you're not a yet a Patron, head over to patreon and sign up :) With a Silver or Gold membership you'll get access to over 100 sleep meditations and our sleep stories as well. Visit www.Patreon.com/trackstorelax for details.
Our daughter is due to have the baby on July 6th, so we are excited to see if he appears on time or comes a bit early. We're excited to meet our new grandson! Stay tuned for updates!
Nikki and I are so glad you found our Tracks To Relax Sleep Meditation Blog! We're working hard to bring you new guided sleep meditations each and every month through either Patreon and Podbean!