In addition to a healthy diet and exercise, restful sleep is one of the most important factors of wellbeing. When you’re tired, it’s difficult to focus and productivity is decreased. There are even some studies which suggest that when sleep deprived, you are less able to control hunger – resulting in unwanted weight gain. Read on for tips about how you can achieve a more restorative night’s sleep.
Disclaimer: Remember, if you are having serious sleep issues or are suffering from a medical condition, seek advice from your doctor before altering routines (such as diet, exercise or sleep schedules) which have potential to affect your health. The following advice is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical care, as I am not a medical professional.
- Bedtime Routine. Most of us have a morning routine that allows us to adjust from sleep to wakefulness, however, few people consistently perform a similar (although opposite) procedure to ready our bodies for sleep. Try incorporating a relaxing pattern into your day, about one hour before you’d like to be asleep. Cease use of all screens, dim the lights and engage in a peaceful activity like listening to soft music, drinking herbal tea or reading.
- Consistent Bedtime + Wakeup Time. It’s tempting to stay up late and finish those last few work emails, yet the added screen time and stress will likely make it more difficult to fall asleep. The later you fall asleep, the more times you hit the snooze in the morning. Try moving your bedtime and wakeup time back by 15 minutes intervals each week until you achieve a desired schedule.
- Environment. Being in your bedroom should signal to your body that it’s time for sleep. Clear out any mess or disorganized items that can unconsciously interfere with your ability to relax. Be sure to turn off all lights and make the room as dark as possible, or use a sleep mask. It’s also a good idea to keep your bedroom slightly cool, yet not so cold that it’s preventing you from falling asleep. Keep a pen and pad of paper on your nightstand so that if you think of something which you need to address, you can record it and relax, knowing you’ll remember to take care of it the next day.
- Daytime Behaviors. What you do during the day affects your ability to rest at night. It’s best to exercise regularly so that you are physically tired enough to fall deeply asleep. Also try to refrain from napping, and instead consider going for a short walk to help feel more energized. Finally, try removing caffeine after lunch time, as it can disrupt your sleep as well.
Be well, everyone!