We all know how important sleep is, especially when we’re going through a season where we’re not getting enough. The quality of sleep you receive is just as important as the amount of sleep. Sleep affects everything from your overall health and longevity to your appearance and self-esteem. If you’re struggling to fall asleep easily, achieve deep, restorative sleep and wake up feeling energized and refreshed, you may be in need of some helpful tips and routines to optimize your sleeping. Keep reading for ways to start sleeping and feeling better today.
Like most things in life, implementing healthy habits is the foundation for success. This is true for your sleep too. Focusing on eating a healthy diet full of plant-based nutrition is a cornerstone. Ensure you’re getting your recommended eight glasses of water a day too. In addition to healthy eating habits, physical exercise is essential regardless of age. Other healthy habits that will impact your sleep are limiting caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol consumption.
While few things compare to laying in bed binge-watching your favorite Netflix series, you may consider indulging in your tv and popcorn habits on the couch instead. The truth is if successful sleeping patterns are something that eludes you, your bedroom needs to be for sleeping only.
This means limiting distractions like televisions, books, and other devices that can keep you awake later than you should be. If you’re a parent and your child is struggling with falling asleep, the same applies to their rooms – no toys, no tablets, just rest.
The Right Rituals
Speaking of kiddos and sleep, everyone knows that most children receive the same nighttime routine each night to prepare them for bed. The same is true for adults. It is key to establish nighttime rituals that signal to your brain and body that it’s time to slow down and get ready for bed.
From taking a relaxing bath, putting on comfortable loungewear, and drinking a glass of relaxing herbal tea, all these things unwind you. You can’t expect your body to go from high intensity to lay down and sleep soundly. Curate a routine of rituals that works to relax and nourish you.
Many people would prefer to skip pharmaceutical-grade sleep aids and opt for a more natural approach to catching their z’s. Many supplements have been shown to promote sleep and enhance sleep quality. Passionflower, CBD sleep products derived naturally from orange peels, Melatonin, and Valerian, are all examples of natural products that may help you on your way to la-la land.
If you’re taking prescription medication, it’s always a good idea to check in with your GP or a pharmacist before adding anything new to your routine, but most natural products are safe to combine with other medication.
On a cold and rainy day or just a day after a long night, there are few things more comforting than your bed for a nap during the day. While naps have some health benefits and certainly feel amazing, if you’re struggling to fall and stay asleep, it may be a better idea to just power through your day. If you have a day where you feel particularly sleepy, make sure you keep your naps short and sweet. Thirty minutes is the sweet spot you don’t want to surpass.
Sleep Schedules Matter
Sticking to a sleep schedule is important for everyone, whether they have sleep issues or not. In fact, most people who get enough healthy sleep each night likely are on a sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every night makes it easier to get the quality sleep your body deserves. While it may seem impossible with all life’s responsibilities, guarding this time to get healthy rest is paramount. Cut corners everywhere else but sleep.
Ernest Hemingway said, “I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” While the famous quote is hilarious, the truth is, if you don’t get enough quality sleep, your life very well may fall apart. By utilizing the above-mentioned ways to protect your sleep, you can rest assured you’ll be looking and feeling your best. And when all else fails, count sheep!