For those of you who are avid listeners of my podcast or have been around here for a while, you’ll know that I am a massive fan of sleep and making sleep a priority. In fact, the importance of sleep is something that almost every single guest on my podcast mentions. It’s paramount, and something that’s worth getting proactive about.
But sleep hasn’t always been a priority for me. In my teens, I had dance classes most nights — sometimes until as late as 10:30pm during the week. Then I’d come home and be so wired that I would have to take sleeping pills just so I could get some rest before school the next day… Not a good habit to get into!
During my twenties, someone said to me, ‘You can sleep when you’re dead’. My young, impressionable mind thought that sounded like a great way to live, so I took it to heart and burned the midnight oil like there was no tomorrow! My early twenties were spent partying into all hours of the morning and not taking care of myself at all… again, not exactly the best habit ever!
Then in 2010, when I ended up in hospital with no more candle left to burn, I realised that the one area of my life I need to get sorted straight away was my sleep. It felt like the one habit that everything else hinged on. I needed to make it a priority and just do it, so that I could actually feel human during the day, get stuff done, and reach my full potential. Because guess what… if you aren’t getting good quality sleep each night, there is no way you are operating at your full potential.
The changes I made during that time had a profound effect on my life, and I began embracing my zzzzzz’s. But I always knew there was still more work I could do in this area…
Sleep is one part of the holistic wellness puzzle that you need to consider in order to truly thrive.
So a few years ago, spurred on by hearing SO many high performers raving about the power of a good night’s rest, Nick and I decided to up our sleep game and take it next level. Like, seriously next level.
Here’s how we did it:
- We removed all electronics from our room, and I mean ALL of them! This means no TV, phones, ipads, computers or any other digital devices in our bedroom EVER! We are very strict with this.
- We removed all clutter from our room. In our bedroom, we have a bed and two bedside tables and that’s it. A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind, and it blocks the flow of energy, so we stopped using under our beds to store junk and cleared out all the clutter. I also learned that storing stuff under your bed is bad Feng Shui.
- We have a rule: no work talk in bed.
- We got a sun lamp for when we need to set an alarm but most of the time we don’t use it and rise with the sun as we have no blinds on our windows.
- My bonus son Leo sometimes get asthma and allergies and we learned that latex mattresses are going to be best for him because they are hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and dust-mite resistant, which means it’s great for anyone sensitive to synthetic products. This is why we invested in a bed from The Natural Bedding Co. We also learned that metal springs act as a wifi magnet so whilst you sleep, you are basically laying on a wifi conductor (#eek), but Natural Bedding Co beds don’t have any metal, not even in the bed bases. They also produce very little off-gassing which is what you want when you are creating a low toxic home and wanting to live a low toxic lifestyle.
- We turn our wifi off every night.
- We invested in organic sheets.
- We use ear plugs when we are in Bondi to block out noise.
- We go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, because our bodies love routine.
- We treat our bedroom like a sacred space that is reserved for sleeping and making love. That’s it.
- We never eat in bed.
- We wear blue blocking glasses at night to wind down.
- We invested in king-size beds. If you are sharing your bed with someone else I highly recommend getting a king bed so that you both have enough room to get a deep, restful and restorative sleep.
- We dim the lights and use Himalayan salt lamps to create a calming and restful environment.
- We learnt that air quality matters, so during the day, open your window to let in fresh air and sunlight. You can even get an air purifier if you need one.
- We invested in a Samina Sleep System which has been life changing (use the code Melissa to get 5% off).
- We diffuse sleepy time essential oils like lavender, lavender peace, frankincense and vetiver to create a calming environment for the evening.
- We choose our art wisely because everything has energy. Choose art that makes you feel good and happy.
- We use colours that are soothing and calming and that make us feel good when we walk into the room.
- We always close our bedroom and ensuite door, because according to Feng Shui, this will allow for the best and most nourishing flow of energy to strengthen your physical health, as well as the health of your relationship. Understand the interaction between the doors and windows in your bedroom, and be sure the energy is not escaping the room, but rather is nourishing and strengthening it.
- We keep our bedroom and closet clean and organised, because this will further create a sense of peace and calm in your sleeping space.
- In accordance with the Feng Shui principles in regards to your bed, we follow these 3 basic rules…
- Have your bed easily approachable from both sides.
- Have 2 of everything (2 bedside tables, 2 pillows, 2 lamps) as this promotes a loving and harmonious energy.
- Avoid having the bed directly in line with the door.
There you have it, friends — the best hacks to take your sleep to the next level. Start with one thing on this list today and implement it for a week and see how you feel. Then try another one and let me know how you go.
And if you have any other sleep hacks to add to the list, please share them with me in the comments below so we can create an epic list of things to take our health and sleep to the next level.
Image by Nikole Ramsay