How A Relaxing Sleep At Home Can Lead To Self Care
Sleep is the foundation for self care. That means when you know you need to make yourself more of a priority, it’s important to start with sleep. While self care involves any action you take to improve your wellness, you can’t really take care of yourself without sleep.
Starting with sleep is a good strategy for improving self care because it can be easy and simple. While sleep can sometimes be complicated for people with sleep disorders, generally, taking the time to get more rest is fairly simple — and it can be very effective for improving your mood, health, and energy.
Why Sleep Is The First Step In Self Care
Sleeping well means you are in a better position to take on the demands of the day, and in a better position to take care of yourself. When you’re fatigued, you may not have the patience or energy to do what you need to do in order to take care of yourself.
Sleep isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity. You’re not a superhero if you’re somehow able to make it through the day on very little sleep and still survive. In reality, you’re hurting yourself and should really be making rest a priority.
How To Prioritize Sleep — And Yourself
Follow these tips to make sleep more of a priority, supporting wellness in physical and mental health so you can take better care of yourself.
Schedule sleep first. Plan ahead for the time you need to wake up in the morning and count backwards, giving yourself at least seven to nine hours to sleep each night. Don’t try to schedule sleep around other activities; just sleep first.
Avoid sleep pitfalls. You may be sabotaging your sleep with things you do while you’re awake. A late afternoon nap could leave you too well rested to get to sleep. Coffee or other sources of caffeine late in the day can make you feel too energized for sleep. Even heavy exercise late at night can be a problem. And while alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, it can lower the quality of your sleep and is best avoided at night. Be careful not to stay up late on your phone or using other screens, which can be too stimulating for sleep.
Make your bedroom a haven for sleep. A healthy sleep environment is dark, quiet, cool, and comfortable, making it easier for you to sleep at night. Blackout curtains can help you avoid light, and a ceiling fan can help with temperature and noise. Make your bedroom a place where you feel comfortable, relaxed, and ready to rest each night.
Manage stress and anxiety. Stressful thoughts can keep you up at night. Do what you can to manage stress during the day with relaxing and therapeutic activities such as meditation . If you’re plagued by anxious thoughts at night, keep a notebook next to your bed where you can write them down and deal with them at a more appropriate time.
Sleep is essential for self care. If you’re struggling to take care of yourself but want to do better, start with sleep. When you’re well rested, you’re in a better position both mentally and physically to deal with everyday life and take steps to feel better each day.
Susan Austin is a family research specialist with Family Living Today. A mother of three and small business owner in Texas, Austin spends her days juggling work and family life — sometimes expertly, sometimes not.