COME TO YOUR SENSES (FOR BETTER SLEEP).
Well, you don’t have to actually ‘come’ to your senses because your senses are always with you and activated, so instead let’s focus on building awareness of the senses for better health.
In humans, there are 9 confirmed senses, 21 confirmed but less focused senses and
33 debatable human senses.
Wow! So which ones should you focus on, and why?
I’ll keep it simple here by starting with the 5 basic senses and actually focus on how
and when to engage them for one very important stage of daily health – sleep.
I’m going to focus on winding down at the end of the day because it is at the end of the day and how well we sleep that actually sets the tone for how productive and enjoyable the following day will go.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, about half of all Americans feel sleepy from three to seven days a week.
BENEFITS OF A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP:
• Boosting your immune system
• Strengthening your emotional processing
• Improving your mood and decreasing stress
• Improving memory function
• Improving cellular growth
• Repairing tissue and muscle recovery
• Increasing productivity
• Improving exercise performance
SLEEP DEPRIVATION CAN LEAD TO:
• Difficulty concentrating
• Slowness in responding to others
• Loss of motivation
• Increase in moodiness or temper
• Yawning constantly
• You're tired all the time
A good night’s sleep might very well be our most important form of self care. Here are
a few suggestions to help activate these 5 senses and tune in to them to assist in sleep?
1. OPTHALMOCEPTION (Eyes) - Sight or visual perception.
After dinner start lowering the lighting in your space by having fewer lights on, using dimmer switches or candles. I know it’s hard but no blue light from screens. Read something pleasant from a book. Use black out curtains.
2. AUDIOCEPTION (Ears) - Hearing or auditory sensations.
If you’re lucky enough to live surrounded by nature the sounds you hear will be perfect. If not, try playing relaxing, quiet music before bed then white noise at bedtime.
3. GUSTAOCEPTION (Tongue) - Sense of taste.
Drink chamomile, lavender, valerian or a bedtime blend tea. Avoid caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Try to eat a light meal at dinner time and don’t eat 2 hours before bed.
4. OLFACOCEPTION (Nose) - Sense of smell.
My personal favorite, diffuse chamomile, lavender or bergamot oil. You could put a few drops on your pillow. This can be a powerful practice as the sense of smell is shown in many studies to be the strongest of the 5 senses.
5. TACTIOCEPTION (Skin) - Sense of touch.
Soak in a very warm bath with Epsom salt (magnesium). Sleep in a slightly cool room on clean sheets with a soft comfy blanket nearby. Make sure you invest in a good mattress.
After dinner, winding down can be a good time to tidy your space for the next day. Clutter and being unorganized create anxiety. Also, try to do some simple stretches for
a few minutes before bed to release tension stored in the shoulders and lower back.
Take a few deep breaths when you lie your head on the pillow. I highly recommend the
4, 7, 8 breathing technique. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8fjYPC-k2k
This information is simple. You already know it. My challenge for you is to consciously put each of these practices into use every evening for a month. Try to visualize emptying your mind of busy thoughts. If you follow these simple practices consistently, you will notice a difference. Please leave me a comment to let me know how much better you
This is a small sampling of practices for winding down and sleeping well. If you would like a deeper dive into the science behind these practices, want more ideas on ways to improve sleep or would like for me to help you be accountable and consistent in sticking to the practices, then "LET’S TALK." I can help you. Just click on THE PATH on my website and choose a BUILDING BLOCK that best suits
Lastly, IT IS SPRING! Nature is showering us with abundant gifts for all our senses.
Go outside. Enjoy.
Proud to be a ProAger!
Health and Wellness Guide