A Holistic Approach to a Better Night’s Sleep (Infographic)
All that stretching and you still can’t sleep? It’s a familiar complaint: those of us who exercise enough that are bodies are more than prepped for a good night’s rest often find that our minds are unwilling to acquiesce. It creates the unfortunate situation of laying in bed awake at night, too full of worry to nod off but too exhausted to get up and do something different. Of course, yoga can be a great way to achieve a sense of inner calm, but getting that calm to last beyond the first couple of hours after a flow can require more ‘work’ than the physical exercise itself.
This is why it is important not to leave your sense of wholeness on the mat. Just as your muscles and joints work together in surprising ways to tease the strain out of you and strengthen your resolve, the exercise of sleep requires a holistic approach that favors neither body, nor mind – but every aspect of your life.
It’s no good, for example, to put time and energy into a great workout, if you’re going to spend the rest of the evening peering into your smart phone or chained to your work computer. Of course, there are times when the latter is unavoidable, but even then it is important to think not just of your posture, but of the quality of light that you are soaking up.
We are animals after all. Like the birds, we respond to a circadian rhythm that tells us when to sleep and when to rise. So when your body is ready to sleep, your brain and hormones may still be busy processing the mistaken idea that it is daytime – because you’ve been staring at the white light of your devices before turning in for the night. Put that cell phone to sleep at least two hours before you, and if you need to work into the evening, consider installing an app that adjusts the light of your laptop screen to the time of day.
That’s one aspect taken care of, but life is made up of many such contributing factors. From the way you keep your bedroom, to the things you eat, to the manner in which you face up to your worries, these factors influence each other and should be approached as part of an overarching strategy. For a roadmap on how to do so, follow this helpful infographic from the people at OnStride. When you get your body in sync with the rest of your life, you should soon find harmony between the sheets.