Honestly, sleep is more important than you think. It is what propels us through the day, keeps us healthy, and gives us the strength to deal with the world. Getting great sleep is actually pretty easy, but society has made it seem harder than it should be. With a few quick changes, you too can have great sleep!
Your food and drink have a huge impact on your sleep.
I am not one to drink coffee, thankfully! You on the other hand probably have a gold card to Starbucks. Did you know that coffee usually contains more caffeine than an energy drink? That 4pm coffee run is actually hurting your sleep. The average consumption of caffeine is around two cups of coffee, or four sodas. Since caffeine starts to work in minutes, is that soda during The Bachelor that important?
Instead of filling up with caffeine, why don’t you try something else? Water is so important to drink through the day. If you are looking for ways to drink more water, then read my post here! If you want something with some flavor, then try tart cherry juice, decaffeinated green tea, or natural coconut water. There are a ton of options! Something you need to stay away from is alcohol. I am not saying avoid it at all costs, but it can impact your REM sleep, which may result in you feeling less rested the next day.
Believe it or not, eating later can actually cause us to not sleep well! Worse than not sleeping, it can actually cause us to gain weight. Studies have shown that we are more likely to consume more calories later in the night. In case you did not know, our metabolism slows down while we sleep. A way to prevent the late night snacking is to make sure that you are eating early enough in the day. Walnuts, bananas, and tuna are options to try if you are looking for a diet change.
Try activities before bed that do not involve technology
I am guilty of the same thing you are. I have a problem with putting my phone down before I go to sleep. Although my work is completely online, even I have to remind myself to shut off everything. Keeping your eyes locked on a screen can actually keep you awake. Bright lights signal our brain that it is not time for sleep, and tricks us into staying awake. One second you are having a great time binge watching The Bold Type, and the next second it is 3am on a Tuesday. Matter of fact, just turn all of the lights off!
When I was younger, my mother always told me to read a book. I thought this was just the teacher in her, but she was actually right. Reading reduces cortisol levels because your body is relaxing. This is also going to help you reduce stress, so that is a double win! Another great option is stretching, meditation, or yoga. Stretching out your muscles removes the tension from them. It also is making you stronger and more flexible. Meditation is something that I have done since I was very young, and even if it does not put me directly to sleep, it keeps my mind from wandering around. There are actually specific yoga moves that can help you sleep better too!
When I cannot sleep, I usually try and take a warm bath, or a warm shower. This also relieves tension in your muscles. Try turning down the lights, light some candles, and read a book of your choice. You are killing three birds with one stone that way!
Create a sleep space
You know what I am about to say. The bedroom should be for two activities. Sleep and Intimacy. Try creating a cozy environment that you like to be in. One of the best things I have done is get a new mattress! I can tell a difference in how my body feels after a night of sleep. If you are unable to get a new mattress, try a mattress topper, or even flip your mattress over to the other side. PS: You should be doing that regularly anyway!
Keep your television out of you bedroom, this will only give you a reason to stay awake. Something I have began doing is charging everything away from my bed. Not having your laptop, phone, or anything near you is going to keep you from looking at that phone! Creating a sleep space can even help you de-stress. Surround yourself with things that you love, and keep your room clean!
Aromatherapy is all of the rage, and it has been for years. Light up some candles that you love, or even get an oil diffuser. Something to keep in mind before this is what kind of scents you are using. Certain scents can actually keep you awake. Try lavender, frankincense, cedar wood, vetiver, or whatever appeals to you most. These are all scents that attract me, which may be why I always feel like napping! Another important tip is to find the temperature that works for you. You do not want to be freezing, but you also do not want to sweat either.