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Self Care Tips

Written by: Dr. Michelle Emmerling

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of sleep and how having a consistent sleep routine can greatly impact our productivity.

Sleep is such an important part of self care and yet one thing that so many of us struggle with. The constant battle to get enough of it, fall asleep without tossing and turning, and the hope that we dont wake up before we are rested. Sleep has a significant impact on our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. When we are not rested we are more likely to feel anxious, irritable and unmotivated, lethargic and have trouble regulating our emotions. 

How do we change our sleeping habits? 

We need to make sleep a priority. It is easy to feel like we have more important and “productive” things to do, but sleep is the key to everything health and mental health related. It should be top of our self care list. 

  1. Keep your sleep routine consistent 

Follow the same routine at night ( Put on pjs and brush teeth, etc) so that you are cueing your mind that it is time to sleep. 

  1. Dim your lights to aid in production of melatonin – Dimming your lights allows your body to produce melatonin which is used to facilitate sleep. 
  2. Make sure to include a 30 min wind down time – Listen to calming music, read, do some relaxation exercises , or try some light stretching.
  3. Unplug from electronics – Go device free about an hour or so before bed. Staying on electronics can cause mental stimulation that can be hard to shut off. Electronic screens also give off blue light which reduces the production of melatonin.
  4. Don’t focus on falling asleep as the goal – Focus instead on tools like relaxation, and use tools like mindfulness, meditation or breathing, to get you in the right mindset. 

 

Try challenging yourself to develop the start of a sleep routine. The goal here is not to try and do all of these at once, but pick one or two to start to build the habit. So maybe today you try unplugging from devices an hour before bed and instead do some relaxing behaviors. Or maybe you try dimming the lights and just focusing on relaxing and not trying to fall asleep. A goal today might even be to go to bed 10 minutes earlier than you normally would. Try it out and we hope you get some more restful and relaxing sleep!

“Sleep is the golden chain that ties our health and our bodies together.”

 – Thomas Decker

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book” 

Irish Proverb

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