Tag Archives: sleep

Getting back into a routine

It’s back to school time! Where I am in Florida, school is already in session. And along with it come changes – new traffic patterns, different routines.

In fact, what I’ve been hearing a lot from friends is: “I can’t wait to get back to my regular routine!”.

Which makes me wonder: what happens during the summer such that we feel we fall out of routine?

What if we were to allow ourselves to recognize that we have different routines during different times of year, and that’s ok? How might that change things?

There is something comforting about routine. Feeling “out of routine” is uncomfortable. But what if we weren’t out of routine at all, we were just shifting into different routines with the shifting seasons?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

But let’s get a little more practical. I thought this time of transition would be a good opportunity to talk about routines that you might want to establish for yourself. So that’s what the next couple posts will address.

We’ll start today by focusing on your nighttime routine.

Why is a nighttime routine important?

A good nighttime routine can really enhance your quality of sleep. Sleep is so important for your overall health. Sleep is when your body performs its detoxing and repair functions. Without those, you wake up feeling lethargic, with a foggy brain. And what kind of day will that set you up for?

When I work with my private clients, if they aren’t sleeping well, we make addressing that a priority – because you can’t make good decisions on a consistent basis if you are exhausted and depleted all the time.

What might a nighttime routine look like?

I encourage my clients to create a Power Down Hour – 60 minutes (or so) before you intend to sleep where you disconnect from all electronics and transition into getting ready to sleep. This routine may consist of any of the following activities:

Bathing / grooming – taking a bath or shower, brushing your teeth, whatever you like to do before you prepare to turn in.
Journaling – I encourage people to journal right before they turn in. What can you journal about? How about all the things on your mind that you tend to think about all night instead of sleeping. Well, if you write them down right before you turn in, it’s like you are moving them out of your head and saving them in a file that you can open up again tomorrow. You free your mind from having to work on them, so you can sleep better.
    I also encourage people to write about 3 things that went well for them that day and/or 3 things they are grateful for. This practice helps you shine light on the positive. We tend to focus too much on what we didn’t get done, rather than acknowledging and appreciating our accomplishments.
Reading – if it relaxes you. I know for some people, reading stimulates and excites them so that they end up staying awake all night. Not me – reading helps me fall asleep.

These are the activities that make up my Power Down Hour.

Do you have a nighttime routine? Could you share it? Either reply to this email, or even better, post it on my Facebook page with hashtag #nighttimeroutine.

If you are not sleeping well, I’d be happy to talk to you about some simple strategies you could try (in addition to the Power Down Hour) that would help. Just reach out to me!

With gratitude,
Dawn


p.s., Have you scheduled your Pay What You Want transformational coaching session? And did you know that I am now offering a payment plan for my course Empower Your Relationship with Food? Through September 30, I am donating 50% of proceeds from these two opportunities to my local Hospice organization. Your support is appreciated!

Your Appetite is Your Friend

I was at a networking meeting recently when I overheard a conversation among 3 women. They were talking about a new appetite suppressant supplement they started taking, saying things like: “I’m hoping this will finally help me lose those pounds”, and “I’ve been taking it for a few days and I don’t feel jittery!”.

I worked really hard to be a good networking person and not speak out against an attendee’s business, products, and approach. But I have no such constraints here. I do feel the need to offer another perspective for your consideration.

Your appetite – your hunger – is not the enemy! Hunger is an important signal from your body that nourishment is needed. Suppressing your appetite would be like trying to suppress your thirst, or the need to pee. The consequences of ignoring these body signals for too long are not pretty.

If your appetite feels “out of control”, then there is a mismatch between your body’s needs and what you are providing. Instead of trying to suppress your appetite, explore it. Get curious. Use it to learn what works for you. Some factors that influence your hunger:

  • Are you getting enough sleep? Lack of sleep is known to cause an increase in your hunger hormones
  • Are you getting enough nutrition? Your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food you provide it depends on the quality of the food (is it nutrient dense?) and how you eat (Do you eat quickly? Are you under stress? Are you paying attention to what you eat? Science shows these factors have significant impact on your metabolism and your digestive power.). If your body is not receiving adequate nutrition, hunger will be the result.
  • Are you getting enough nourishment? Sometimes hunger points not to a need for food but for a need for nourishment in other areas of our lives: connection, love, engagement.

At Mind Body Nutrition Coaching, we use principles of Nutrition and Eating Psychology to help you explore and cultivate your appetite, to use it as a guide to learn what works best for your body, so that you feel energized throughout the day and able to put your best self forward. If this is an approach that sounds worth pursuing, sign up for your Complimentary Strategy Session today!

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