DON'T FALL ASLEEP reading this, BUT I CAN HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT!
Updated: Mar 7, 2019
Do you want to fall asleep faster, stay asleep amd wake up refreshed? UM YEAH--yes please! Well there are some easy changes you can do to accomplish just that.
We all need sleep. It is essential to be able to function. But trust me, as a busy mom of 3 and working 2 jobs, sleep was my last priority until I found out how much it was affecting my health. Medical studies have related a lack of sleep to a host of health problems and most importantly cognitive impairment.
We've all been there, sick kids, sick animals, stress, worry, pain, or maybe we just can't shut our minds off! Regardless the reasons, getting a good night's sleep seems to be such a hard thing to do for the majority of people!
In fact a new study shows that over 40% of people don't get the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night. The same study showed that sleep deprivation is linked to obesity and both children and adults. It also is contributed to 20% of car crashes in the U.S alone last year. Those are crazy statistics!
Well don't fret! I have a few tips and tricks that you can implement tonight to get you well on your way to dreamland. zzzzz
DON'T TUNE OUT ON ME NOW....we are just getting to the good stuff!
So HOW you ask? How can I sleep better???
Tip #1 Try your hardest to go to bed at the SAME TIME and wake up at the SAME TIME every day.
~Now I know the weekends are everyones favorite time to sleep in and catch up, esp if you have had several tasty beverages the evening before, but if you can atleast attempt this during your work week, it has been proven to be beneficial.
Tip #2 Make your bedroom a MEDIA FREE ZONE.
~This one is a hard one as many people now use their phones as alarm clocks but here's a nifty trick. Place your phone at least 2 feet away from you (not on a nightstand) so that you aren't tempted to pick it up during the hours you should be asleep. Also, this will help to get your bum out of the bed in the morning to silence that alarm! And the hope is, once you are up, you won't crawl back into those warm covers once they have been exposed to the cold air..brrrrrr
Tip #3 Make your bedroom more like a spa.
~Use serene and restful colors like lavender, soft green, pale blue, soft grey. Eliminate clutter in the room. Try removing family photos from the bedroom to creat a spa-like environment. All those tips will promote a restful, peaceful place to help your brain relax.
Tip #4 Create the room to become a dark and quiet space and set the temp between 60-67*
~Consider using an eye mask, ear plugs or blackout curtains. You can even use a fan or whitenoice machine to help mute other noises! (just don't forget your fan when you travel--I have one we take just for camping!!)
Tip #5 Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol after 9pm.
~Caffeine has been shown to interrupt the quality of sleep you get. Alcohol, on the other hand may feel like it helps you fall asleep, but the effects of this can extend well into the night and disrupt you overall circadian rhythm.
Tip #6 Get atleast 20 minutes of sunlight each day!
~Regular exposure to daylight helps balance your circadian rhythm. The sun once determined when we got up and when we went to sleep. The body follows this rhythm and as the sun gets brighter it lets the body know to release certain hormones. And when there is a lack of sunlight, it lets the body know to decrease certain hormones while increasing others. This can be tricky for those midnight shift people, but I worked midnights for over 13 years and while challenging, it is a necessity to see that fire ball in the sky daily to feel normal!
Tip #7 Eat your last meal at least 2 hours before bed.
~This not only affects the quality of your sleep, but also the body's detox process. The body only has so many resources to devote to different tasks. If you eat a big meal right before bed, resources will be diverted towards digestion rather than detox.
Tip #8 Brain dump worries, Harvest Gratitudes!
~THIS IS A BIG ONE! Take 5 minutes to release everything from your brain. All worries, to do, tasks and/or anything else crossing your mind. This releases tension and stress so you can relax. You can even use a free YOUTUBE meditation to help you relax before bed! I take that time to journal things I am grateful for and things that happened that day I want to remember, you'll thank me later as you age and can't remember anything!!!
Tip #9 Take a HOT shower or bath before bed.
~Raising body temp before bed helps to induce sleep. Epsom salt bath can help release tension in sore muscles. Epsom salts or aromatherapy bath are rich in magnesium, which is a mineral that aids in sleep. Most of us are deficient in Magnesium.
Tip #10 Warm your bed with a hot water bottle or warming blanket.
~This will help raise your body temp as stated above helps induce sleep. Great for an upset stomach and menstral cramps if you are female!
CHECK OUT THESE CHARTS (used with permission from thegoodbody.com)
In summary, a good night's sleep isn't too far away with implementing some of these tips and tricks. Leave me a note below and let me know which one was most interesting to you and if you will be trying any of them! Hope this was helpful for you! See you in dreamland!! Night y'all!
Resources: Health Care Institute, The Goodbody.com