Tips on getting good quality sleep

By Megan | 12th September 2014
A photograph of our peacful and colourful rooms at the retreat

With our busy lives sometimes the time we make for our sleep and the quality of it can suffer. We can also have problems with sleep if we are stressed or worried.  This article covers some simple tips for getting good quality sleep.  We also look later in this article into how sleep can be disturbed whilst the body is detoxifying. Another reason to avoid putting excess toxins into your body!

If you still find yourself tossing and turning, try not to get too stressed about it, and try some of these tips to beat the insomnia:

  • Do a muscle scan: mentally scan your body from your toes all the way up to your head, relaxing each part as you go.
  • Hide your alarm clock to avoid anxiously glancing at it, which typically leads to calculating how many hours of sleep you can still get, causing stress.
  • Get out of bed after 30 minutes of sleeplessness. Try reading, meditation, deep breathing, or gentle yoga, only returning to bed when you actually feel sleepy.  Staying in bed when you can’t sleep may lead to a wandering mind, and you might begin to associate your bed with lying awake instead of sleeping.
  • If your mind is reviewing your worries or to-do list, try some journaling, or just jotting down these thoughts. Identify some time in tomorrow’s schedule (while riding the train, or going for a run) when you can come back to these thoughts. By assigning this “worry time”, you can free yourself from feeling like you must think about them now.
  • Most importantly, be gentle on yourself. Let go of judgements, like “I should be asleep,” and negative thinking, “If I don’t get eight hours of sleep, I’ll be useless at work tomorrow.” Try to accept insomnia for what it is, and focus on the silver lining: maybe you’ll get to see a gorgeous sunrise.

The effect of detoxification on sleep quality

The process of detoxifying can also have an impact on the quality of your sleep.  As the body processes and eliminates toxins, you may feel a bit sluggish. It is important to listen to your body and allow extra rest during a detox. Resting and sleep make fewer demands on your body’s resources, allowing more of your energy to be applied to physical renewal. During sleep, your body rejuvenates, replenishes, and rebuilds. Studies have shown that the most healing and detoxifying time for sleep is between 10pm and 2am. Additionally, the hours that you sleep give your digestive system a break and allow elimination processes to catch up.

Lack of sleep can make a detox program more difficult to maintain. During periods of sleep hormones that affect our mood and appetite are regulated and balanced. Lack of sleep can therefore lead to increased appetite, and cause you to crave sugary foods and carbohydrates. Because insufficient sleep also depletes valuable resources for healing and coping with stress, you may be more likely to succumb to these cravings.

For a night of restful sleep during your detox (or anytime), you can begin to prepare a few hours before bedtime:

  • Start to dim the lights to ease yourself into a restful state
  • Write down your worries or to-do list so you’re not still thinking about it when its time to sleep
  • Avoid bright lights; the blue light in our TV’s, computers, and smartphones is stimulating, keeping us awake. If you must use your computer before bed, download an app called f.lux, which adapts the light of your screen to the time of day.
  • Bring the temperature in your bedroom down, and dim the lights. Even the light from our mobile phones can disrupt sleep, so charge your phone outside the bedroom when it’s time for bed.

We hope that these tips on how to achieve better quality sleep, whether or not you are on a detox, will help you find more happy snooze time in your life.

Beautiful Spanish flower in our mature gardens at La Crisalida Retreats
Megan

Megan is a yoga teacher and life coach. She leads by example, living life to the fullest.

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