By Ally Love
I’ve always made it a habit to prioritize sleep. With a busy schedule, it can be hard to do - but with a good night’s rest, I feel motivated and energized to tackle the next day and have the proper tools in my mental and physical arsenal to manage the daily stressors that life can throw my way.
Sleep enhances your ability to handle stressors, which can then lead you back to better sleep…helping you handle those day-to-day feelings of stress even better! That’s why good sleep is our most important and essential tool to help you live a present and full life.
Here are my top four sleep tips to plus up your rest and break out of the Sleep Stress Cycle to build the life you want:
1. Build a bedtime routine – Preparedness and thoughtfulness in your bedtime routine will help you get ahead of your next day and reduce any anxiety about what’s coming. Going through a bedtime routine also cues your body and mind that it’s time for sleep and serves as a distraction from anxious thoughts or worries as you focus on winding down from the day.
For example, you may pick out your clothes for the next day, do an evening meditation or light soothing candles to get your body and mind relaxed and ready for rest. While routine is key, it doesn’t need to be punitive, I also believe in allowing some fluidity in your routine and making changes as needed depending on your needs and lifestyle.
2. Reduce nighttime stressors – It’s vital to prioritize sleep by reducing stressors as you prepare for bed. For example, I put my phone away 30 minutes before bed and don’t go on social media since it can be draining. Instead, I’ll listen to a sermon or an audio book on self-care, which is a much more relaxing and positive influence to help me create a relaxed mental state. Discover the things that spike stress for you, so you can avoid them, and know what helps bring you feelings of calm, so you can incorporate them into your routine.
3. Practice self-compassion – If nighttime worries and feelings of anxiety are keeping you up at night, give yourself some grace and remember: you are more than enough, and you are amazing! Tomorrow is a new day that you can embrace with a positive mindset. Letting go of whatever happened today is one technique to help you deal with stress and anxiety. Write down positive affirmations that serve as this reminder when you’re not feeling your best – for instance, I often tape notes with affirmations on my window, so I see them when I wake up in the morning. This same idea can work as a nighttime reminder, too!
4. Keep stress and sleep tools nearby – When I need extra support to get a good night’s sleep ahead of an important day or when I’m traveling through different time zones, I like having my favorite Natrol Melatonin Gummies as a sleep tool to help me fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, so I can wake up feeling refreshed.† I’m also a fan of holistic solutions like herbal tea, mindfulness exercises and just any type of physical activity to help me balance my mood and feel clear-headed throughout the day.
The most important takeaway here is to find a night routine to support you waking up feeling like your best self and using that as your foundation to break the Sleep Stress Cycle. While this can take some trial and error, what I have found is that it is worth extra effort. Do sleep well, so you can do life well!
Peace and Love,
About Ally Love
Ally Love is a multi-hyphenate trailblazer of the slash generation. She is the founder and CEO of Love Squad, Peloton instructor, Host of the Top 10 Netflix series Dance 100, and has been the host of the Brooklyn Nets for the past 10 seasons. In 2015, Love founded the Love Squad community to empower women through the facilitation of motivational and educational conversations. Entrepreneur, host, motivational speaker, ambassador, fitness instructor, and boss, Love is an inspirational powerhouse. Her ultimate unwavering goal is to position those around her to step into their power through the convergence of articulation and conversation.