A restful night's sleep is often something that can be elusive for many of us. Between 10% and 30% of adults struggle with chronic insomnia. It is believed between 30% and 48% of older adults experience insomnia. Many people simply acclimate to their situation, and live life constantly tired. While this may work for them, we don’t recommend it. Being well rested shouldn’t be unattainable for anyone. We’ve put together a list of some recommendations that we hope will help you get the rest you need so you may live a full, happy, WELL RESTED life!
Put yourself on a sleep schedule
This one seems obvious, but is it something you’ve tried? If so, do you close your eyes once you’re in bed, or do you find yourself scrolling social media?
I think that most parents, especially those with babies or young children, would agree that getting their children on a sleep schedule makes their lives easier. Not only does it help mom and dad get into a routine for themselves to accomplish their parental duties, it is vital if you want to curb those sleepy eyed temper tantrums from the little ones. Implementing a sleep schedule for yourself is doing the same thing, although we hope you’ve learned to manage your emotions a tad more than a toddler! Even so, adults can also get very cranky and short with others when not rested.
Seven hours is the recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult. Most people don’t need more than eight hours to be well rested. If you can, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even weekends to reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If you find yourself not falling asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Pick up a book, and read a chapter. Listen to some calming music. Anything to help lull you into a sleepy state, and go back to bed. Repeat as needed, but maintain the sleep/wake up schedule you’ve set for yourself.
Pro tip: Cut off all electronic stimulation a half hour before your bedtime.
Monitor what you’re consuming throughout the day
Discomfort from either eating too much OR not having eaten enough could be keeping you awake.
Caffeine, alcohol, and even nicotine can also be major factors too. Stimulants can take hours to wear off, and are likely hindering your sleep, and while alcohol can make you sleepy at first, but when it metabolizes while you’re asleep it can wake you up.
Everyone’s experience will be different based on your history, but pay attention to your body, and make adjustments to see if they have any impact.
Your bedroom. Is it set up for rest?
The space where we sleep has a huge impact on how we sleep. Is your bedroom set up to be a place of rest, or is it chaotic? An ideal set up for your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Any light, or noises (except for white noise) can really mess with your ability to sleep. Our body temperatures naturally drop during sleep. A cooler room will assist in getting you to sleep, and more importantly, STAYING asleep. Light also has the same effect, especially if you’re not a heavy sleeper. Black out curtains can help eliminate as much light as possible. The condition you keep your room in is key as well. We’re not saying that it needs to be completely sterile, with everything in its place. We know that’s not realistic for everyone. However, it is hard to be restful surrounded by chaos. Tidy up your room and give it a try!
Make time for physical activity every day
If you have a job at a desk, or something that doesn’t require much physical exertion, you’re probably mentally tired by the time you get home, but not physically tired. It’s important to get your body moving. Sleep is meant to repair our bodies, however, if your body doesn’t need to be repaired from lack of activity, it might be cheating you out of valuable sleep time!
Try getting outside for a little while each day to move your body. It doesn’t have to be major. A half hour in the garden, maybe an hour long walk. Something to trick your body into being physically tired is what you’re looking for.
Are you a bedtime worrier?
If you’re like me, bedtime is when you tend to reflect on the day you just had, and start thinking about the day ahead. If your daily life is busy, you probably find yourself already worrying about tomorrow, and making a to-do list in your head while you're laying down waiting to go to sleep. In my experience, those thoughts can swirl around inside your head for hours on end. Work on those worries and concerns before bed. Keep a notepad and pen on your nightstand. Get them out of your head and onto paper so those thoughts are waiting for you when you wake up, but aren’t swirling around in your head while you try to fall asleep!
You may need some deeper stress management work as well. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Meditation also can ease anxiety. A worried mind is hard to get to rest. Instead of kicking the can of stress down the road for tomorrow, do yourself a favor and deal with it today.
As you can see, there are a variety of reasons that can be preventing you from getting the sleep you need and deserve! Try out a few of our suggestions to see if they could help you out! Just remember that your sleep habits are ingrained within your body, and whatever you try, give it a reasonable amount of time before trying the next thing.
Until our next blog, Take Care!
Mental self-care relates to any activities or routines that can help individuals maintain good mental health and support their well-being. Like any form of self-care, this can take shape in a variety of ways. Some types of mental self-care include mindfulness, self-reflection, setting boundaries, seeking support, engaging in hobbies and interests, getting enough sleep, and practicing self-care rituals routinely.
Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with curiosity and without judgment. It can help promote mental self-care through reduced stress, improved concentration, increased self-awareness, and enhanced emotional regulation.
Mindfulness practice can promote overall well-being by increasing positive emotions, such as happiness and gratitude. It can also aid in developing self-compassion by helping create a kind and non-judgmental attitude towards yourself.
Overall, mindfulness practice can help to develop a greater sense of self-awareness and self-compassion, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall mental well-being.
Not only does springtime thaw the earth around us, but it also thaws our bodies. The changing of seasons can bring out unique aches and pains. This transition between seasons is a good time to add massage into your self care routine. A deep tissue massage combines deeper pressure massage techniques for health improvement, easing any muscle discomfort you may be experiencing.
We’ve all heard the phrase “no pain, no gain,” but is it the best advice to follow when it comes to our bodies? Originating in the 1980s as an exercise motto, it promised greater rewards for the price of hard, and even painful work. Under this conception competitive professionals, such as athletes, are required to endure pain (physical suffering) to achieve professional excellence. Medical experts agree that this philosophy is wrong for exercise and may have prompted the use of steroids in order to enhance performance. Thank goodness we’ve learned a lot more about our bodies over the last 30-40 years.
It is important be healthy and take care of your body. Two things most people think of when discussing a healthy lifestyle is their diet and fitness routine. These things are both important parts of living a healthy life, but how does massage fit in?
If you plan on getting a massage pre-workout, it is suggested that you go for a light massage. A light massage helps warm up the muscles and makes them more flexible. However, if you plan on working out after a deep tissue massage, you might want to think again. This can lead to increased soreness, and it can inhibit the effectiveness of the tissue work done during your massage.
There are five major benefits to post-workout massages:
It’s that time of year again, Back-to-School, and Boo is getting ready to continue his education in the office. Education and proper certifications are always primary goals at Living Touch Massage. It is important to Rita that she practices the most current and accurate techniques in the massage industry. It is so important to her practice that she goes above and beyond required certifications and learns specific techniques to help clients with a variety of conditions. Continuing her education and maintaining her certifications allows her to meet the needs of a broader range of clients and truly make an impact on their lives. From her education, she gains increased knowledge, a better understanding of old and new techniques, and an increased skill level. This helps her create the best possible experience for her clients.
Rita is currently nationally certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. To have received this certification, she must demonstrate a mastery of core skills and knowledge, pass an NCBTMB standardized exam, uphold the organization’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, as well as continue her education.
Rita is already experienced and trained in Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, Myofascial massage and release, therapeutic, relaxation, restorative, prenatal, and chair massage. For more information on all specialties, view all Our Services.