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Sleeping Spells and Tips: The Wondrous Magic of Sleep

March 15th observes World Sleep Day. With that in mind, here are some sleeping spells and tips for you as well as a little about the wondrous magic of sleep.

In the case of spells, they are words within the pages of books, and also lullabies, and bedtime story telling. As for tips, all of us can use some, so I have a few today that have helped me in the past and that i need to use again to catch up on lost sleep this week!

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The Wondrous Magic of Sleep

Given this week with springing forward has impacted my already bad sleep schedule some more, I need to take a pause, reflect on my overall habits, and work on improving them. For sleep is magical in and of itself. It cures, it rejuvenates, and restores not just our physical bodies, but also our mental and emotional selves.

When I don’t sleep well (especially when it happens days in a row, like this week), I become zombie like. I do things on automaton but struggle to recall basic stuff, like if someone asks me my phone number! Conversely, when I am well rested, I am a walking encyclopedia of whatever 🙂

As you can see, and already know as well, sleep is fundamental for our overall well-being. It plays a vital role in physical health by facilitating tissue repair, hormone regulation, and immune function. And it is also crucial for cognitive function and mental health, aiding memory consolidation, problem-solving, and emotional regulation.

According to one research, sleeplessness causes our brains to age more rapidly (no sleep for 24 hours could potentially make our brains two years older). This kind of makes sense when we have memory issues due to lack of sleep (source).

During sleep, our brain clears itself of toxins and strengthens the connections between brain cells. So when we don’t get enough of it, toxins build up, connections weaken, leading to various issues in mental and emotional health. It also helps our bodies get much needed rest so it can get back to doing more the following day as well as shore up immunity. So, for a stronger, better us, we need to remember that we need to sleep, well, sleep well.

Tips to Sleep Better

  1. Set a Schedule: Establish a consistent schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock.
  2. Limit Stimulants: Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime, as they can interfere with your ability to get a good night’s rest.
  3. Ease Into Bedtime: Create a relaxing bedtime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. This could include activities like reading, listening to calming music, or taking a warm bath.
  4. Environment Matters: Make your bedroom the place to unwind by keeping it dark, quiet, and cool. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows, and consider using blackout curtains if necessary.
  5. Prioritize Relaxation: Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation to help calm your mind and body before going to bed.
  6. Wind Down Screen Time: Limit exposure to screens (phones, computers, TVs) at least an hour before bedtime, as the blue light emitted can disrupt your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. This is one I need to work on as I normally end the day by watching something on the phone in bed (not good, I know, but…)
  7. Exercise Regularly: Engage in regular physical activity during the day, but avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime, as it may energize you, thus making it harder to fall asleep. I need to exercise, period!
  8. Limit Daytime Naps: If you need to nap during the day, keep it short (around 20-30 minutes) and avoid napping late in the afternoon.
  9. Lull Yourself to Sleep: Use calming scents, such as lavender, and consider playing soothing music or white noise to help lull yourself into a restful slumber. Magnesium supplements or melatonin can help (but please check on these with your doctor). My daughter uses a low dosage magnesium supplement which helps her for sure. As for me, I feel chamomile tea helps.

Sleeping Spells aka Sleepytime Books

  • Bunny Should be Sleeping by Amy Hest with art by Renata Liwska (4 – 8 years). Check out what bunny is up to instead of being in the world of dreams! Cute read with beautiful artwork.
  • It’s Time to Sleep, My Love by Nancy Tillman and illustrated by Eric Metaxas (1 – 3 years). I love Tillman’s books and each one leaves my heart fuller than before.
  • Just One More Sleep: All Good Things Come to Those Who Wait . . . and Wait . . . and Wait by Jamie Lee Curtis; illustrations by Laura Cornell (3 – 6 years). A book that gives parents a way to help little ones navigate the concept of waiting for special events, or simply waiting for anything at all. And a great bedtime read too! I know I spent enough time telling my kids that their birthday is coming soon enough, or that our trip to see grandparents was right around the corner!
  • Little Fairy Can’t Sleep by Daniela Drescher (3 – 6 years). What to do when you can’t get to bed? You find out what others are doing!
  • Mama’s Sleeping Scarf by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and illustrations by Joelle Avelino (3 – 7 years).
  • Sleep Big Bear, Sleep! by Maureen Wright with illustrations by Will Hillenbrand (2 – 6 years)  
  • Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue and illustrations by Pamela Zagarenski (2 – 5 years).
  • Where do I Sleep? by Jennifer Blomgren and illustrated by Andrea Gabriel (1 – 3 years).

You can find my reviews for these next five books here.

Related Reads and More

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, first, regarding the books. Which of these books have you read , enjoyed? I have a slew of other books as well about this magical cure-all which are not picture books but will save it for another occasion. However, I would love to hear your recommendations, from picture books to more.

Next up, do you get enough snooze time? Or you are like me, trying to play catch up and failing? Any tips to get better zzzzs through the night?

Join me and others on Thursday 13 here where the only requirement is to come up with a list of 13 anythings (in my case, it is the picture books above)

20 thoughts on “Sleeping Spells and Tips: The Wondrous Magic of Sleep

  1. The book recommendations were such a fun and creative way to explore “sleep” as a topic. I hadn’t heard of many of those bedtime stories before, but they seem like the perfect whimsical narratives to lull little ones (and perhaps adults too!) into a state of relaxation before sleep. I’ll be checking some of those out for my small nieces and nephews.

  2. I haven’t been sleeping properly in the past few days, I am not sure why! These tips came at the right time, THANK YOU SO MUCH…

  3. Appreciate the tips! To be honest, I have been really struggling with sleep lately. I should definitely start limiting to screens before bedtime.

    Thank you for these book suggestion too. My little girl would love this.

  4. It has been so hard for me to get a good nights rest while with a little one waking up 3-4 times a night. These books seem like wonderful reads! I can not wait to indulge in them!

  5. Sleep, what is that? I haven’t had a good night sleep in a very long time, and I’ve tried a few of these tips. My body has now come immune to not getting enough sleep and that’s bad. I’m loving the list of sleepy time books.

  6. I’ve personally found that establishing a bedtime routine and cutting down screen time before bed have made significant improvements in my sleep. It’s amazing how something as simple as reading a book instead of scrolling through my phone can make such a difference.

  7. I value my sleep quite a bit! I need a decent amount of sleep to be able to function, and it catches up with me if I do not get good sleep. Good to know there is a Sleep Day, and the tips are appreciated!

  8. These tips for better sleep are helpful, but it’s important to remember that they may not be sufficient for those with sleep disorders like insomnia. Seeking professional help and exploring tailored treatment options are crucial for managing more severe sleep issues.

  9. After reducing my daytime naps, I’ve noticed my sleep improved so much. I used to wakeup constantly throughout the night but now I’m able to sleep through the night!

  10. Having a good night sleep is very important indeed. I drink herbal tea before I go to bed. I’m also planning to get an essential oil diffuser. Great tips!

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