S1:E3 | How Can I Improve My Sleep? The power of winding down before bed.
The million dollar question … how can I improve my sleep? A nice big question to start this podcast off. We might as well get straight into it! Let’s go!
Hello and welcome to the sleep seekers podcast, I’m your host, Emma Ashford.
If you are listening to this at the time of publishing … Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed bringing in the new year and are enjoying planning for what you want to make happen this year. I love the energy of the new year and the sense of possibility it brings. What better time to start a new podcast which I have been planning and dreaming about for a long time. So, here we are… the sleep seekers podcast.
As you can imagine, I get asked the question - how can I improve my sleep - a lot!
Most people can identify with the feeling of wanting to get a bit more sleep, or a bit better sleep, at least some of the time.
There is so much to unpack within this question, there are a lot of variables and a lot of ground we could cover - far more than we can fit into this episode.
However, the first and most important thing when it comes to improving your sleep, the first thing to really address is your wind down time.
This is one of my favourite topics, something I could talk about for hours. That magical time before bed can make or break your sleep.
So, we are going to have a whole season dedicated to wind down time - how to create it and improve it, things to consider etc. And I can’t wait!
Your wind down time is so important - it is your runway into sleep. It is where we set the conditions to ensure a pleasant and effective sleep.
Going to sleep is a transition, not a switch and we need to treat it as a transition. We need to put an end to the day and transition into evening and night time - and we do this through our wind down time.
What you do and don’t do before you go to sleep and whether or not you wind down, sets the scene for the whole night. This is in terms of how you are feeling, your body chemistry (what is actually going on internally) and the state of your mind.
Then of course, a good night sets the scene for a good day - often more creative, productive, resilient, loving with your partner, children etc - and so when you think about it that way, the ripple effects are amazing.
If you get your wind down time right, the benefits to sleep include:
→ Getting to sleep more quickly
→ Waking up less during the night - you move more seamlessly between sleep cycles
→ Get back to sleep more quickly if you do wake up (coming to awareness between cycles, being woken by a child, needing the loo etc)
→ Having better quality sleep (getting more from your sleep cycles, letting go into good quality deep sleep and being less aware during your sleep)
All this is going to mean you get much better sleep, you wake up feeling more rested and more vibrant to then go into your day.
And it means there is less disruption from your life on your sleep. There are less rubbish nights just caused by life in general.
That is the power of wind down time.
But good wind down time is an art and a science. It is not just turning off the blue lights, reducing your technology use or watching tv for a bit before bed.
You need to be intentionally designing your wind down time around your needs and in the context of your unique life to really use your wind down time to prepare your mind and body for great sleep. Some aspects of this we are going to be digging into during the course of this wind down season on the podcast.
I also created an evening wind down course that guides you through all the components of the most successful wind down time and teaches you to apply them to your life so you can craft the best wind down time, leading to the best sleep for you. You work through the course at your own speed and implement at your own pace - some people are all at once and some people are incremental positive changes - but then we have a monthly Q&A session where you can ask me any questions, and listen to me answer other peoples questions.
Improving your wind down time is beneficial for everyone - if you would like to improve your sleep or get better sleep or more sleep, this is the place to be focusing. If you like to work on your self care or self improvement, this is a great, very specific focus but that has brilliant ripple effects in the rest of your life. If you really struggle with your sleep, have a sleep problem or insomnia, wind down time is the best place to start and its where we begin when I work with my insomnia clients. If you have a sleep problem, improving your wind down time may not be the full story but it’s the first step to take.
You will find the link to the evening wind down course in the show notes, or you can go straight to sleepseekers.academy/evening.
I will leave you with that for todays episode. The power of good wind down time for improving sleep is not to be underestimated … could you use those benefits in your life?
I hope you will join me for this podcast series focused on wind down time.
SEE YOU NEXT TIME ON THE SLEEP SEEKERS PODCAST.
THE EVENING WIND DOWN PROGRAMME | CLICK HERE →
ALL SLEEP SEEKERS PROGRAMMES | CLICK HERE →
MORE ABOUT EMMA | CLICK HERE →
SLEEP OPTIMISER PROGRAMME | CLICK HERE →
WIND DOWN JOURNAL | CLICK HERE →