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5 Ways to Prioritize Your Sleep

LIFESTYLE

5 Ways to Prioritize Your Sleep (Even When You’re Busy)

When there are so many people and activities competing for your attention, prioritizing sleep can feel impossible. Here are 5 tips that can help. Even if you’re busy, you can…

1.) Start each new day brightly.

Even if you didn’t get quality sleep that night, get out of bed at the same time daily, and find some light. Notice and counter any Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) about what your day might bring with an opposite (or neutral) statement. Energize your body and clear out any morning brain fog with some gentle movement.

2.) Have a macronutrient-

balanced meal mid-day. Eat it away from your workspace, ideally in nature or with a nature view. Even 20 minutes (without multitasking) can help you feel nourished and rejuvenated.

3.) Counter mid-afternoon energy slumps with an

energizing practice. Need to release stress? Try 2-3 rounds of healthy breathing techniques that open your chest and/or create energy. They also combat the kyphotic posture caused by too much computer use, which restricts full breathing and can result in tiredness.

4.) Have a(ny) ritual that clearly demarcates the end of

your workday. This is especially important if you work from home or have too fluid a boundary between your roles in life. Select a time to power down your workstation or close your office door. One client of mine who works from home cleverly places different figurines on her table: one represents working, the other personal business and fun so she put out different ones at different times.

5.) Create a supportive, daily

rhythm for yourself. The mindbody system is soothed by rhythm. It likes to anticipate what’s going to happen and have that expectation met. (This is why uncertainty often produces anxiety, and why upended plans can feel stressful.) Rhythms can be set by time, light, food/drink, or movement. They reinforce circadian rhythm, and may result in deeper, less fragmented, and more refreshing sleep at night. Start by selecting one from the list above—ideally the one that’s most feasible for your busy life and feels most enjoyable. Do it consistently for at least a month and notice its impact on your sleep and energy. .......................................................

Kali Patrick, MS is a Sleep Wellness Coach, therapeutic yoga & meditation teacher, and speaker who helps stressed-out, busy professionals learn to sleep better and improve their energy. She also supports corporate wellness programs with 1-1 coaching, classes, and presentations.

10 | January/February 2021