Sleep — The Complete Check-list
Personalize your sleep experience for a deeper more rejuvenating sleep. Try each of these sleep suggestions out. Your sleep rhythm may respond to something you never considered changing before. Pick and choose the ones that work for your body. Create your personalized sleep check-list.
“My home is my retreat and resting place from the wars. I try to keep this corner as a haven against tempest outside, as I do another corner of my soul.” — Michel de Montaigne
Your Sleep Friendly Day
- Make the first moment of the day special. Watch the sunrise. Read something inspirational. Gaze lovingly into your spouse’s eyes. According to science spending some time with your child just after they wake up & listen to their dreams helps their emotional health all day.
- Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, had adults drink 8 ounces of tart cherry juice in the morning and evening for 2 weeks and results indicate that they had reduced insomnia severity, and a reduction in wake time after they fell asleep by 17 minutes.
- Children nap between 1 pm & 3pm. There is a scientific reason why our energy levels normally dip between 1pm and 3pm. This is because we get a natural rise in the hormone melatonin (the sleep hormone, levels of which normally peak at night), so this is a good time to nap.
- Embrace a paleo diet: Limit sugar and starches.
- Eat organic; to avoid certain food additives that interfere with sleep patterns.
- Eat foods high in calcium to enhance serotonin.
- Eat protein at breakfast and lunch to be alert during the day.
- Eat fish everyday.
- Foods rich in Vitamin B promote healthy sleep patterns.
- Foods rich in magnesium promote deep uninterrupted sleep.
- Limit caffeine and desserts to before 3pm. No sugar after 3 pm.
- If that doesn’t work limit your caffeine intake afternoon. Ultimately remove all caffeine if necessary.
- No protein after 3 pm.
- No apple before 5 pm.
- No meat protein after 5 pm.
- Eat foods containing tryptophan at your evening meal and not before: eggs, cheese, pineapple, tofu, salmon, nuts & seeds, turkey.
- Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but any movement is better than nothing.
- Do homework first thing after school.
- All toys and clothes put away. Kiss stuffed animals goodnight, they need their own bed.
- Practice self-calming and soothing all day long. Learn to let it go by over exaggerating their sigh.
- Model positive behavior of emotional health to your family: anger, worry, and maintaining sleep success.
- Listen to your body and learn to identify feeling tired and overtired.
- The more you limit screen time the better quality of sleep. Sleep is a learned activity. Children will have greater success in finding and appreciating their personal sleep rhythm when they have abstained from screens. This will also contribute to a greater sense of mastery over the emotions that run high when fatigue sets in.
Ending your day
- Create a family quiet time. Screens off. By creating a family quiet time your family will learn that having a quiet space in life is important for everybody. Such a time could include drawing, reading, stretching, listening to soothing music, or just looking up at the stars. Cuddles, tickles & Bible story time.
- Manage your own circadian rhythms by managing your exposure to light. Turn the lights off during this winding down period while you are unwinding from the day. For the last few hours of the day rely on firelight, candles, and starlight. Some of you may need to close the shutters on your windows to block out the sunshine in the summer months.
- Bath before the evening meal not after. Brush hair before bath.
- Soak in a tub of hot water with 15 drops of lavender essential oil, 1/2 cup of Epsom Salts and 1/4 Cup soda for 30 minutes.
- Herbal foot rub + socks. Lavender lotion on belly. Essential oils for your feet: Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Bergamont, Frankincense and coconut oil. Rub on bottom of feet and back of neck.
- Get the thoughts moving out of your head and onto the paper.
- Make a to-do list. If there are things you must remember when you wake up, write them down and let the paper do the work for you rather than using your brain power while you are supposed to be sleeping.
- Warn ten minutes before bedtime so that everyone can begin wrapping up and anticipating sleep.
- Have a consistent bedtime.
- Eat your evening meal three hours before bedtime
- Begin your evening meal with a homeopathic sleep blend. Talk to your local natural doctor about alternative therapies: homeopathic, essential oils, herbs and minerals. (L72: Sumbulus moschatus, Oleum gaultheria, Cicuta virosa, Asa fœtida, Corydalis Formosa, Ignatia amara, Valeriana officinalis, Staphysagria, Avena sativa, Hyoscyamus niger.)
- Eat foods containing tryptophan at your evening meal and not before.
- Choose protein from non meat sources: nuts (almonds, peanut butter), seeds (quinoa, pumpkin seeds), legumes (beans, soy, buckwheat, lentils, hummus, peas), dairy (yogurt, cheese), artichokes, spinach, sundried tomatoes, guava, and eggs.
- Apple or applesauce for dessert.
- End your evening meal with a sleepy time herbal tea or chamomile granules. Tea options: Chamomile, Verbena, Lavender, Vetiver, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Sandalwood, Marjoram, Ginger and Tumeric Tea.
- Warn ten minutes before dinnertime is over so that everyone can begin wrapping up and anticipating sleep.
Preparing for sleep
- Avoid trauma tears and tantrums. Don’t pressure. If your child ever tells you that they can’t get to sleep, respond by saying, “that’s OK. Think of something wonderful. “
- Take a magnesium supplement. It works best along with a vitamin C.
- Another dose of your homeopathic sleep blend.
- Brush Teeth, floss teeth, sip water & spit.
- Nasal rinse to relieve dryness and breath better.
- Bedroom should be cool, between 60 and 67 degrees.
- Wear socks.
- Switch from 100% polyester to 100% cotton pajamas could make all the difference.
- 1 drop of sweet dreams essential oil on a small decorative pillow or in an essential oil diffuser. Blends: Lavender, Chamomile, Vetiver, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Sandalwood, Marjoram.
- No-spill thermos filled with water and within reach in bed.
- A bed is for sleeping, not playing. Glow worm on bookshelf. No toys in bed. It’s also not for working, remove TVs, phones, tablets and books.
- Lay down together to read the night-night book. The night-night book is a book that is not stimulating your brain. Perhaps a baby book that brings back fond memories and reinforces that sleep is a wonderful activity. We made our own. It’s the story of a lamby that likes to sleep.
- Big hug while sharing Moonlight Thoughts. Moonlight Thoughts process your day and your emotions and bring closure and healing: What are you thankful for today? Were you frustrated? Were you scared? Were you sad?
- Banish bedtime fears. Hang your worries on Jesus’s loving arms, or a vast array of exercises you can find online or develop with your coach.
- Put worries to bed.
- Do slow sustained stretches before bed. Give yourself space to stretch out while you do a relaxation exercise or yoga. Documented research by the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York
- Relax your muscle groups
- Do relaxing breathing exercises.
- Practice mindfulness. Push away thoughts of the past or the future. Sharpen all five senses. Live fully the present moment. What do you hear? What do you feel?
- Begin your dream visualization. “The pictures in your mind are inviting you into the wonderful world of dreams”
- Turn off the light. Close the door. Black out windows. Sleep in the dark.
- Sit on the foot of the bed until your child falls asleep. All lights off.
- Fall asleep in ten minutes or less.
- Sleep a full night’s sleep without waking.
- Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
- If you are waking up at 3am, then before bed drink 1/2C orange juice with 1/4 tsp of sea salt and 1/4 tsp cream of tartar.
- According to the University of Chicago study showed that people who are on a low calorie diet will lose the same amount of weight if they are sleeping 5.5 or 8.5 hours, but those sleeping 8.5 hours will lose more fat, while those with 5.5 hours will lose more muscle.
- According to Wake Forrest University individuals under 40 who sleep 6-7 hours a night had far less belly fat than those sleeping less than 6 hours and more than 8 hours.
- According to Columbia University Medical Center in New York, N.Y. when parents set their kids bedtimes earlier (10pm or earlier), adolescents were less likely to suffer from depression (by 24%) and less likely to think about committing suicide (by 20%).
- According to researchers at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom sleeping less than 6 hours and more than 8 hours is linked to premature death!
- Keep a sleep journal. Are you having trouble identifying what is holding you back? Write down your food, your mood, and the sleep suggestions you try. Observe what combinations advance your progress towards deeper more rejuvenating sleep. Also note which of the steps you get stuck on when practicing falling asleep in ten minutes or less.