I don’t know about you, but there is nothing like getting a bad night’s sleep to throw off my day. When I’m sleep deprived, it affects my concentration and productivity, my overall mood and mindset, and makes it hard to get through the day.
We know that quality sleep is necessary for overall health and peace of mind. Sleeping gives our bodies and brains time to relax and rejuvenate. Just like eating, sleep is necessary for our survival.
Stress can be a big factor in sleeping well – whether it hampers your ability to get to sleep or it wakes you up in the middle of the night. Lots of other factors can come between you and restful sleep – whether it’s eating patterns, your ability to get comfortable, or what you do leading up to bedtime.
Here are some tips to help you slip effortlessly into dream land…
Keep to a schedule.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each night – even on weekends. According to the Mayo Clinic, keeping to a consistent schedule sets up your sleep-wake cycle, and will help you to get better quality sleep.
Give yourself time to wind down.
In the hour or so before your bed time, its best to avoid stressful or over stimulating activities, and give yourself time to transition into sleep mode. If you have a demanding job, steer clear of checking email just before bed. In fact, it’s best to leave the phone and computer in another room while you sleep. If you typically watch TV shows at night, choose shows that aren’t violent or over stimulating. Reading a light book or magazine can be a great way to ease you into relaxation.
Watch what you eat in the hours before bed time.
Anything you eat about 2 to 3 hours before bed time has the potential to affect your sleep. Limit the alcohol and caffeine, and instead try a relaxing herbal tea chamomile or lavender tea. Sleepytime tea is a great option too!
Take a warm bath or shower.
One of my favorite night time rituals is to take a hot bath before bed. I’ve always found it very soothing and relaxing. Apparently there is some science behind it as well, as mentioned in this article on health.com. It goes something like this: when you fall asleep your body temperature naturally falls. Taking a hot bath raises your temperature a few degrees higher than normal, and then creates a steeper plummet, sending you off into a nice deep slumber.
Wear comfortable pajamas. (Of course!)
Whatever you choose to wear to bed, it should be loose and comfortable. Get rid of any pjs that don’t fit you properly or have irritating features like scratchy fabric or annoying elastic. Pick pajamas that work for you and make you feel good! Some people are more comfortable in shorts than pants, and others prefer a nightshirt to a two-piece pair of jammies. You might even love a one-piece pair of footed pajamas!
Make sure your bedroom supports good sleeping.
Be sure your bed, pillows, and blankets are truly comfortable. Pillows wear out over time and if they are not supporting your neck properly, it can make it tough to get good sleep. You also want to make make sure your room is quiet and dark. A noise machine or fan can help drown out sounds that may wake you during the night. If your bedroom is not dark enough, try black-out curtains or wearing an eye mask to keep the light out.
We want to hear from you – what are your tips for getting a good night’s rest? Share with us below in the comments!