Today is World Sleep Day: according to the World Sleep Society’s global survey 35% of people feel they don’t get enough sleep, impacting both their physical and mental health. ‘There is a growing understanding that lack of sleep is linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes and we’re more prone to infections after a period of reduced sleep’ according to Public Health England.
Breathing, relaxing, stretching, calming the mind and the body are all great ways to improve your chances of a great night’s sleep. Sounds so simple yet finding time to do it is far more challenging.
That’s why I created my Zen Pilates concept – to enable busy people who are struggling to make time for themselves to be able to outsource their self-care. The Zen class also transforms gentle relaxation from a task into a mini spa style treat.
In Zen Pilates we first unfurl the body and only then do we unwind the mind. In a room full of tea lights infused with calming aromatherapy scents we gently stretch the whole body using Pilates inspired low impact but strongly impactful stretching and mindful movement. A soundscape of ambient music fills the room transporting us further into a place of relaxation and peace. Once our bodies are unwound and deeply relaxed we do a group guided relaxation in the candle light and under cosy blankets. Each week I curate and conduct a blend of visualisation, sensations and guided imagery along with a carefully selected breathing technique to sooth our souls and further
When I asked my client’s to tell me what benefits they were feeling from the class improved sleep was number one.
“The classes are perfect for the end of a long day and have certainly helped me sleep really well.
“You leave feeling calm and ready for a good night’s sleep.”
“The first time I slept through the night in ages”
“I’m not a great sleeper and so the deep unbroken night’s sleep I get after Laura’s Zen class is so cherished”
If you can’t make the class here are my top 5 tips to help get a great night’s sleep:
1. Try and create a regular bedtime routine so your body knows you’re preparing for sleep – avoid bright lights in the bathroom and turn a landing light on instead
2. Try and set a regular bedtime and wake-up time – catching up at the weekend is a myth
3. If you are in the habit of taking naps, don’t exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep
4. Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many fizzy drinks, as well as chocolate.
5. Activate your iPhone’s Night Shift mode. This reduces the blue light on your screen which has been proven to mess with your hormones and disturb sleep patterns so filter it out. Here’s how to do it
Public Health England: Are you too tired to do your job?
Thrive Global: Celebrate World Sleep Day