Most of our guests arrive on retreat ready for adventure and sleep is often the last thing on their minds amid holiday excitement. Which is why many are so happily surprised to find that their retreat sleep turns out to be one of the highlights of their trip!
With busyness and long to-do lists taking priority in our modern lives, sleep is often the first sacrifice we make to fit it all in. And we don’t always realise how deficient we are until we take time out from day-to-day life and find ourselves flagging.
At Reclaim Your Self, we recognise sleep as being an integral pillar of all-round wellness. With health being high on our list of priorities for what makes a great retreat, we make sure our guests have everything they need for optimal rest and nourishing slumber on their yoga retreats so they return home feeling fantastic!
Why is Sleep So Important?
Good quality, ample sleep is as important to our health as nutrition and exercise. Being sleep deficient perpetuates stress and increases your risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Lack of sleep can also reduce life expectancy, and has been shown to promote mental health issues including anxiety and depression.
Darkness & Devices
Darkness is our brain’s signal to produce the hormone melatonin. Melatonin makes us sleepy, keeps us asleep, and regulates many of our body’s most important processes, including our circadian rhythm, metabolism and immune system. It has even been shown to help fight cancer, obesity and other chronic lifestyle conditions —it’s a very important hormone!
The lights from the city streets that creep through your blinds at night, your bedside lamp while you’re up late finishing work, the blue light from your smartphone shining into your eyes when you check your emails in the night — they all affect your body’s ability to produce sufficient melatonin. And our modern society is deficient and experiencing health symptoms as a result.
Add in extra sleep disrupters including chronic stress, unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles, and it is little wonder our wellbeing is in decline!
The good news is that by managing your sleep habits you can easily supercharge your slumber! Read on to find out how the Reclaim Your Self team hack their own sleep.
How to Sleep Well: Tips from the Reclaim Your Self Team
Jools Sampson – Founder and Host of every Reclaim Your Self retreat
‘I am big fan of aromatherapy. I have a mini diffuser which I use at home and take away on retreat with me too, along with a set of my favourite essential oils. Half an hour before bedtime I fill my room with relaxing aromas like camomile, lavender, bergamot, frankincense or sweet marjoram.
I always feel relaxed and positive when I use these oils. If I happen to wake up in the night I switch my diffuser back on and it helps me drift back off to sleep again.’
Emma Henry – Jivamukti Yoga Teacher
‘I always sleep well after an Epsom salt bath! I add in a few drops of lavender and some magnesium spray to make it extra relaxing.
While I’m soaking, I like to listen to a classic novel on Audible or a high calibre spiritual podcast to calm my mind.
Once I’m out of the bath my devices are switched off and I drift off to sleep distraction-free.’
Bettina Campolucci Bordi – Retreat Chef
‘For good sleep, your dinner choices are important. Try not to eat not too late and choose easily digested foods. This is the reason why vegan diets can help promote good sleep, because they are easy on digestion! Getting enough sleep has been shown to reduce hunger during the day and lead to healthier food choices overall.
I switch off my devices at least an hour before I go to sleep and use this time to read. I also like to use relaxing balms like lavender to aid good sleep. If you find it difficult to relax before bed, try a meditation app to get you started!’
Adam Husler – Vinyasa Yoga Teacher
‘Replace inactivity with asana, night time TV with meditation, caffeine with herbal teas, and quick food with quality meals and you have the magic ingredients for a good night’s sleep.
If I wanted to jeopardise the quality of my sleep, I would spend my day inactive, caffeinated and with lots on my mind. Luckily at Reclaim Your Self we cultivate exactly the opposite environment on retreat!’
Escaping to the wilderness for peace, quiet and nature is the perfect way to reset your circadian rhythm, treat your body to a melatonin surge, and wake you up to prioritising rest!
Ready to reset your rest and get a good night’s sleep? Book your yoga retreat today!