• Sadie Sutton

My Sleep Protocol to Improve Mental Health

For a more in-depth explanation, the guided mediations I use to go to sleep, and bonus tips + tricks, listen to episode 39!

Do

→ exercise before 7pm

→ take your meds ~30 minutes before you plan to get in bed or the amount of time that allows you to optimize for drowsiness when you are in bed

→ if you take melatonin (as recommended by a health care professional) take it every night not when you start to feel insomnia

→ research guided meditations and podcasts before you get into bed, not as you're feeling tired

→ avoid blue-light and electronics for 1 hour before bed if possible

→ read non-emotionally engaging books when going to bed

→ set up a relaxing, low-lit space to read or meditate when you're struggling to fall asleep

→ talk to your doctor for advice if you're chronically struggling with insomnia

→ wake up at the same time every day


Don't

→ exercise after 7pm

→ eat after dinner time. If you are really hungry, eat a light snack that is low in sugar and fat (fruit, maybe some crackers, etc)

→ watch TV or spend time on electronics before you go to bed

→ read a book that is extremely interesting as it can impact your ability to fall asleep

→ sleep in on some days. Even if you go to bed late, try and get up at the same time to prevent your sleep schedule from becoming irregular

→ stay in bed for hours if you can't fall asleep


Step-By-Step Protocol for Night

  1. Avoid snacks and drinks after dinner, aside from water or some fruit if you get hungry. If you enjoy herbal tea or find it relaxing, that is okay too!

  2. Avoid exercise within 2 hours of bed

  3. Do your skin care/bedtime routine BEFORE you take meds or start to feel drowsy

  4. Pick a guided meditation before you begin your bedtime routine

  5. If you take a medication to help you sleep better, take it ~30 minutes before you go to bed or the amount of time that optimizes for the sedation to hit when you are in bed

  6. Read or do mediation outside of your bed for 15-30 minutes or until you start to feel tired

  7. Get into bed and practice breath-work, guided mediation, or read a boring book

  8. When you start to fall asleep, put away all books, turn off the lights, and really focus on you breath

  9. If you can't fall asleep after 30 minutes of being in bed, get up and read/meditate in a low-lit calming location for another 15-30 minutes or until you start to feel drowsy

  10. When you feel tired again, get back into bed and do your mediations and breath-work

  11. Repeat steps 9-10 until you fall asleep

  12. Get up at the same time every day (~1 hour wiggle room) and make your morning a ritual you look forward to



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