Eight Sleep Rituals to Diagnose & Combat Troubled Sleep
Feeling sleep-deprived? You are not alone. With sleep disorders increasingly linked to all sorts of serious health issues, it’s little wonder many of us are tossing and turning at night. Could insomnia be the new black?
We’ve read and heard a lot about the importance of sleep health lately. For many of us (me included), the days of ‘sleeping like a log’ have long gone. Experts are saying that poor sleep is caused by too much stress, caffeine, alcohol, longer working longer hours and digital overload.
“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.” -Leonardo da Vinci
Increasingly, sleep deficiency is linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. The pressure is on to get a good night’s sleep (seven to eight hours if you are aged over 40, according to the National Sleep Foundation).
Thankfully, there’s a host of options to consider including sleep-tracking devices, sleep retreats, and sleep-enhancing spa treatments. Check these out and zzzz like a baby once more…
DO THE SLEEP QUIZ
Get online and check your own sleep score to see how you compare with your fellow Americans. ‘Sleepscore’ is an initiative led by Dr. Oz to help Americans improve their sleep (according to Dr. Oz at least 60% of us are not getting enough).
TRY A SLEEP POD
The Europeans have been indulging in siestas for decades with the benefits of a twenty-minute powernap well-documented. There are powernap pods cropping up all over the country including at airports and spas. Why not drop by for a catnap at the MIAMI EDITION or YELO SPA (CLOSED) in New York? Both spas offer cocoon-shaped pods where you recline in silence for twenty-minutes – and emerge recharged.
OR A SLEEP RETREAT
Who would ever have dreamed that we would be flocking to spas and retreats for sleep experiences? Recently, ‘Six Senses Spas’ launched Yogic Sleep programs with their Yoga Master, Dorelal Singh. These three, five, seven and ten night retreats are composed of restorative yoga, energy-balancing treatments, deep meditation, and informative workshops to help guests achieve a deep sleep so they can function at their optimum.
BOOK A SLEEP CONCIERGE
Check into one of the sleep rooms at The Benjamin Hotel in New York, where the on-site Sleep Team provide round-the-clock support. Dr. Rebecca S. Robbins, a sleep researcher and co-author of ‘Sleep for Success’, devised the program and guests receive melatonin-enhancing snacks and a Work Down Call notifying them when to power-down their digital devices.
TURN YOUR BEDROOM INTO A SANCTUARY
Invest in good bedding and natural linens and change your mattress every ten years. Consider a melatonin-enhancing bedside light. Creating a bedtime routine at night and sticking to a sleep schedule is also recommended and most of us know powering down a few hours before you go to bed is essential. Try a ‘Phone Bed’, a charging station that puts your devices ‘to bed’ outside your bedroom.
BOOK A MASSAGE (or two!)
We all know that a regular massage can help to lower blood pressure, to de-stress and improve our sleep. “This is why I highly recommend the Blue Eucalyptus Energizing Massage at ‘Naturopathica’ spa in New York,” says Naturopathica’s Founder Barbara Close: “This massage helps to combat the symptoms of adrenal fatigue caused by our modern 24/7 lifestyle.” (such as lethargy, sleep disturbances, and chronic aches and pains.
INVEST IN A SLEEP TRACKING DEVICE
The ResMed Sleep Tracker is designed to monitor your sleep, including measuring your breath and physical movements, as well as analyzing noise and temperature conditions in you room. It syncs with your smart phone and provides a daily sleep score with personalized feedback and tailored suggestions to improve your sleep. A reported 4 out of 5 of the worst sleepers improved their sleep in just a week!
READ: ‘The Sleep Revolution’ by Adriana Huffington
In her book, the former editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, explores how our addiction to technology affects our sleep. Her mission is to end the epidemic of stress and burnout, and she tackles the sleeping pill industry, and explores how by renewing our relationship with sleep, we can take back control of our lives.
While your sleep issues probably won’t be cured overnight, perhaps through integrating more of the above will help. After all, we spend at least a third of our entire lives asleep – we may as well make it a good one!