The Sleep Foundation has some great tips on what can help you get better daily rest. The tips, in my opinion, that you can’t deny are the following:
- Establishing a routine – Deciding on the certain hours of sleep you need (in order to be healthy and productive). Everyone is different. People typically say everyone should get 8 hour or more hours a night, but that isn’t always feasible – especially with our busy schedules, demands, priorities, and let’s just say it – our lives. Instead, it’s easier or sometimes better to determine what are the hours that work for us. What are the hours we need to function properly and also be healthy and not risk illness, etc. For some it is necessary to have 8 hours, while others can survive on 5-6 (I’m typically one of those), as the extra hours are needed to get other things done in order to feel a little more sane (work/life balance).
- Having a ritual – This is a great idea, because it allows you to realize it’s time for bed. Your mind starts to shift from work/play to rest. Your mind starts to calm down (hopefully) and you have some sort of balance when it comes to shutting down versus automatically jumping into bed without letting yourself adjust to the fact that it’s time to go to bed (and potentially laying there awake for a little too long). My ritual is typically getting things ready for the next day, any additional food prep needed, catching up on a tv show in bed, or reading, and probably texting with a friend on the happenings of the day/week in order to wind down. Sometimes I’ll even get in a mini workout at night to unwind, such as planks or pilates. Just a quick 15 minutes to relax my muscles before bed.
- Calming your stomach – Eating or drinking before bed probably isn’t the best idea when you’re trying to relax before bed. It may leave your stomach unsettled and could wake you up at night or earlier than you expected. Instead having some hot (decaf) tea or water may bring your stomach back to a natural spot while you wind down for the night. I typically like a bubbly soda water because it feels like a treat (even if some people say bubbles can be disruptive, my body seems ok with it).
- Your decor – Is your bedroom a place of comfort? I know when I look at my bed and walk into my bedroom I typically feel at ease and automatically feel relaxed. I made sure my bedroom had a different feel, texture, lighting, and coloring than my living room in order to provide a sleeping and comforting environment at the end of the day, as well as in the morning when I wake.
What else helps you sleep? Share with us.