Hi! I’m Sasha or you may know me by my Instagram handle @sashka_nenasheva
During my time in sixth form as a boarding school student I really struggled with getting a good night’s sleep. I vividly remember staff banging on my door in the mornings to make sure I was awake. Moving onto university and the days were no different. 9am lectures were a nightmare in my mind, in my head there was no way I could function that early. I would essentially start my day from lunchtime onwards.
Skip forward to now and there has been a massive shift in how much I value my sleep. Frequent movement, eating well and having a positive mindset all interlink together and help you feel your absolute best – the amount and quality of sleep you give yourself also plays a crucial part. It is no surprise The Healthy Living Store has described each of these elements as being '1 of 4 pillars of health’, as the positive change in eating habits, love for exercising, healthy mindset and valuable SLEEP has indeed affected my overall quality of life in the last 2 years.
Here are some of my top tips for getting the Zzz’s in at the end of the day:
- Keep laptop and phone use out of the bedroom. Try to keep screen entertainment in another room or earlier in the day - refrain from using devices in bed.
- Avoid excess caffeine. Try to not drink coffee past midday - switch to tea or chai instead.
- Podcasts! These help me to dose off. They can really help prevent you from focusing too much on your end-of-day thoughts, which is why I find them to be so relaxing to quiet down that 'monkey mind’.
- A little relaxation before bed can really help create the ambience you need for that end of day feeling - burn a candle, spray pillow mist, rest your head on an acupressure pillow, use a hot water bottle and/or spend some time reading.
- A little pamper before bed to put you in a Zen mood - a pulse points roller ball can help you switch off or wearing an eye mask to help remove distractions and find your inner peace.
- Grab your comfort object such as a blanket, cushion or teddy bear to help you sleep comfortably. Don’t feel ashamed, as naturally we can feel less anxious by snuggling them as adults!
- Happy thoughts! I was always told when younger that when you rest your head and shut your eyes, you should visualise in your mind something positive you wish for in the future. It could be an amazing travel adventure, an experience you hope for or that feeling when you achieve what you are currently working towards in your daily grind.
BREATHE. Deep and slow breaths. Try abdominal breathing - focus on the expansion of your belly when breathing and put less emphasis on just your chest doing all the work, as many of us have the tendency of breathing with only our chest during the day. This breathing technique at night can also be a form of meditation before bed.
Sleep is not something we can skip or catch up on. These days I make sure I get my 8 hours every night. If you practise healthy habits daily your body will naturally produce melatonin – helping you to feel sleepy before the clock strikes 12 and giving you a restful night. Result: you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and will have the energy to do your best with whatever you have in store for yourself that day!
Remember to stay healthy & bonne nuit!
Words by @sashka_nenasheva