When I create sleep plans for my clients, they are always completely individually tailored to each person's challenges and goals when it comes to sleep. But while no two plans are ever the same, there are some basic rules of thumb that apply to most clients that are looking to sleep better. The C.A.R.E.S. Method consists of a few simple things to keep in mind on your journey to better sleep.
C is for Consistency
Consistency is an important key to achieving better sleep. Find your plan and stick to your routine, whenever and whatever the time of year, month or week. By sticking to a routine, you constantly train your mind and body to relax, and over time you will find that it gets easier and easier to fall - and stay - asleep.
A is for Active
Stay active during the day and have a realistic exercise plan you can follow daily. Don’t forget the “non-exercise” movement. Small walks and other outdoor activities, where you get fresh air, vitamin B, as well as vitamin D from the sun. When we stay active in our waking hours, our body feels less need to be awake and active during our sleeping hours.
R is for Relax
Wind down, settle in and have a consistent bedtime routine. It can be anything from taking a bath and drinking a cup of tea, to reading a book before getting ready for bed. Anything that helps your body start the relaxation process at night will have positive effects on your sleep quality.
E is for Environment
Your bedroom should really be the best room in your home. Keep it inviting and at a cool temperature in time for bed, make sure it is always clean, and that it feels relaxing. Your bedroom should be your temple, a room for only relaxation (and sex). Try to not watch TV in bed, even though I know it’s difficult sometimes, especially these days when we are all sharing space during the quarantine. But try to make the bedroom a place for relaxation. Your body and mind should know from entering the room what this room is meant for.
S is for Screens and Sleep
Try to stay away from screens at least one hour prior to bedtime. Avoid mobile devices, TV and any kind of computer screens. Use this time to get ready for bed. Maybe even get clothes out for tomorrow or pack a bag. By letting your brain off the "digital hook", you will allow it to wind down, thereby making it easier to fall asleep.