As a business owner and a parent, it’s become apparent that routines really are the key to all forms of success. We all understand that sleep is essential, but do we know why that is?
Today I'm sharing some of my thoughts on how creating a sleep routine can be useful for all-round success and a happier state of being. It wasn’t easy at first, but with a helping hand from my favorite book, a healthy sleep routine is something I have finally mastered. Let me tell you how I managed it.
The Healthy Brain Book: Getting Inspired
Everyone I’ve ever come into contact with knows how obsessed I am with The Healthy Brain Book, written by Dr. William Sears, MD and Dr Vincent M. Fortanasce. I initially came across it when I wanted to do more research on brain health; specifically in regards to Alzheimer’s and Dementia. I learned about contributing factors to the diseases, but the information about brain health, in general, ended up offering me so much more than that.
Amongst other things, the authors explain the science behind our brains, how they work and what makes them feel their best. During a deep dive into the benefits of keeping neuroinflammation at bay, the doctors suggest monitoring 'physical consumption' and 'thought patterns,' which could work wonders. However, what was the thing that really piqued my interest?
Getting a great night’s sleep. There are many ways to build a routine for yourself to get a good night's sleep by transitioning actions before bed. You can start by taking positive actions towards your nighttime routine, within your own home.
3 Key Tips for Achieving a Great Night’s Sleep
According to my brain bible, good sleep promotes better emotional balance, reduces stress, cuts mental fatigue and controls irrational worry. It can also prevent eye strain, re-energize our memory and produce natural antidepressants. It’s incredible what the brain is capable of when we look after it, right?
The authors continue to note three key ways to promote a great night’s sleep:
Eat it – eat sleep-friendly foods
Move it – make sure you are moving during the day
Think it – happy thoughts promote happy sleep
I took this advice on board and started creating a life that serves my brain – rather than forcing my brain to serve my life. That involved cutting out caffeine and alcohol, as well as eating better and moving more often. Boring, right? I actually haven't felt more energized and creative since the switch!
The final step was to incorporate positive thinking, which is something that my little #peanutbuttercupcup achieve together now...
My Peanut and I: Dream Stories Before Bed
Vivian is my toddler, known formally as "Peanut Butter Cup Cup" among many other nicknames. As the parent of a small child, I recognized the importance of a healthy bedtime routine was for adults so why not try with her as well?
I have always read to her on a daily basis as I hope to share my love of books and reading with her as she gets older. I have shared that with my parents, my grandmothers and my siblings too. We were already reading bedtime stories to wind down after bathtime but things got even better when we started talking about what 'kinds' of dreams we wanted to have each night too. In the spirit of positive thinking, we lay down together and talk about where we want to go in our dreams each night. Whether we discuss fictional characters, fantasy locations and/or what family members we may see in our dreams during our discussions, the positivity radiates from these conversations. We turn out the lights and this is our final step before closing the door to the final "I Love You" and "Night, Night" for the evening.
The benefits of doing this are extensive, including:
Quality time spent together as a family
Builds imagination and opens communication
Helps children who prefer not to sleep
The last bullet point works out for me because if she is wound up and doesn't really want to sleep, I can use this as a bargaining chip and I will let her know we might have to skip our "dreams" if she doesn't lay down and it works every time! She loves the final mental exercise of laying down to hear my silly made-up stories before bed.
While it can seem like a lot to squeeze in before bedtime, completing a dream stories routine is the perfect way to promote healthy sleep for both you and your little ones. To end this post, I’d like to leave you with a quote to think about.
“Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.” – Napoleon Bonaparte.
Thanks for reading!