We are now into Part 3 of the personal health management series. If you haven’t seen part 1 you can read it here. If you missed part 2 you can read it here.

Now that you are getting better nutrition, and you are putting in the effort to step up your exercise routine, we are going to talk about the last important step in this series which is quality sleep.

Sleep is something we all do…but are you getting the most from it? Do you sleep 8 hours straight and wake up refreshed and ready for the day? If you do that is wonderful! If you don’t (which I think is the case for most of us) then you want to continue reading so you can start getting what you need for rest.

Here are 7 steps to quality sleep:

1.) Power Down – I’m sure you have heard of a power down hour and if you are like most people you probably thought, gee that sounds nice…but it won’t work for me! Well I am going to tell you that YES, it will work for you…if you commit to it. It doesn’t mean you have to go to bed an hour earlier. Just that you start to wind down an hour before you are ready to hit the pillow. Take that time to light some candles and run a warm bath, or get a good book or the magazines that you want to catch up on and put them on your nightstand. Turn off the computer, the TV and don’t be checking your phone. Trust me, if you go offline it won’t be the end of the world. People can wait for you until the morning. You won’t miss anything that you can’t catch up on tomorrow and if someone needs you in an emergency they will call…not text. Take the time to reconnect with yourself and give your brain a rest.

2.) Be Consistent/Routine – You can’t do things one day and then not for a week and then start up again. You need to be consistent so your body gets used to the routine. Set a time each night that you do your power down hour, that you get ready for bed, that you journal or read a book or whatever it is that you decided to do as your nightly routine and stick to it. You will begin to see changes within a week and the longer you stick to it the better you will feel.

3.) Brain Dump – If you can’t sleep because your mind is racing, a great thing to do at the end of your day is to take out a notepad and pen and just do a brain dump. All that stuff running around in your head that you don’t want to forget goes down on the paper. If you are a creative person and tend to wake up with ideas in the night or early morning, keep that notepad and pen by your bed with a little flashlight. Jot down what you need to and turn back over to get back to sleep.

4.) No caffeine/alcohol – Caffeine and alcohol too close to bed can have negative effects. Caffeine could keep you awake or have your heart racing if you had too much. Alcohol, while it can make you sleepy can also lead to fitful sleep or even bad dreams.

5.) Stop raiding the fridge – Eating right before bed is a big NO. You want time for your food to settle and not just be sitting in your gut all night long. That is also a potential for a stomachache that could keep you up at night.

6.) Don’t beat yourself up – If you fall off your routine one night, don’t beat yourself up. Hit the reset button and start over. Just try not to fall into always hitting the reset button!

7.) Keep at it – The longer you keep at it the better you will feel. The better you feel the more you can accomplish and the happier you will be.

I hope you enjoyed these tips and the series overall and if you have any questions or want to chat just reach out to me!