Tired of feeling tired?
Do you struggle to get to sleep or feel like you never wake up feeling well rested?
Sleep plays a critical role in our overall health and wellness, in fact, often more than we give it credit for.
Give sleep the credit it deserves by focusing on fixing these four things which may be hindering your sleepy time success!
Lower the Temperature
The ideal sleeping conditions are when your room is completely dark and it is 1-2 degrees cooler than the rest of the house (or a couple of degrees below room temperature). Silence and quiet are important as well, as all of these conditions allow for the body to sufficiently initiate and maintain sleep through the release of sleep stimulating hormones and through the initiation of the sleep cycle. When one part of the equation is missing or doesn’t add up, the body doesn’t initiate or maintain sleep for the duration of the night and you may find it hard to get to sleep, or find yourself waking up later often.
Have a Routine
One of the best things you can do for yourself in the lead up to bed is to establish an evening routine that you adopt in the hour or two before bed time. It should involve activities which allow you to wind down and quiet your mind, and allow you to develop consistency. The idea is not only that you are no longer engaging in stimulating activities that make it hard for you to shut off your thoughts and go to sleep, but also that you establish a routine sequence of events that you do each night that is the same. When you do this, your body will start to associate these events with bedtime and sleep, and it will be easier for you to get to sleep when you crawl into bed.
Check Out, Sign Off
You’ve heard it before, but if you haven’t adopted it yet, it is key to better sleep: signing off, disconnecting from online and checking out at least an hour before sleeping is critical to help your mind wind down and to be ready for bed. The stimulation from the light of the screen, as well as from the online activity makes it hard for your mind to shut off and your brain to switch over to sleep mode. Not to mention the incoming emails and messages can be stress and anxiety inducing which is not conducive to a sound sleep.
Sugar, caffeine, alcohol and any other stimulating substances all cause arousal in the brain, mind and your bodily systems, indicating to the body that it is time to get ready to go, instead of get ready to stop! In the couple of hours before bed time, avoid any of these substances or ingredients and reduce the chance that you will be kept awake by an external source which will disrupt your night of sleep.
Commit today to one of these simple tasks to improve your sleep. You may be surprised at how much of a difference it makes!
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH