Sleep is an incredibly important process that our bodies need in order to properly reset and recharge. Sleep is one of those things that either comes easily to you, or it doesn’t. Those who do not get enough sleep have probably battled with issues related to insomnia for their entire lives. This is in comparison to the people who can pretty much fall asleep standing up – I think we all know one!
Exactly What to Do to Get Amazing Sleep
If you are one of those people who needs to catch up on a few Zs, take a look at our sleep time recommendation below.
During the Day:
Exercise: Exercising during the day can not only improve your health, but it also improves your sleep patterns by reducing stress. However, try not to exercise 3 hours before bed because the adrenaline will keep you awake.
Avoid drinks: Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol because they both make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
No naps: Sleeping during the day makes it difficult to fall sleep at night. If you absolutely must, limit naps to a power nap of 20 minutes.
Food: Opt for a light meal over a heavier one. The heavier the meal, the more difficult it is for your body to digest, and indigestion can make it difficult to fall asleep. However, hunger can also keep you awake, so it’s a balance.
Turn off electronics: Electronic stimulation tells the brain to be alert when it’s supposed to be winding down and has in fact been proven to reduce sleep quality.
In The Bedroom:
Remove the electronics: Shut off the TV and remove computers and other electronic devices from your bedroom. This reminds your body that the bedroom is for sleep, not for work or surfing the internet.
Crank up the cold: You fall asleep faster and sleep better if your bedroom is cooler. A lower room temperature lowers core body temperature and helps you fall into a deep sleep. The ideal temperature for sleep is 65 degrees.
Make it dark: Light interferes with sleep hormones and stimulates the brain. Even the smallest amount can affect you. Wear an eye mask if necessary or turn the alarm clock around.
Turn it down: Eliminate noise as best you can. If you cannot completely get rid of the noises, try canceling it out by playing soothing sounds like ocean waves through some speakers.
Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy soothes the body and provides a calming effect. There are many scents available that can help you to relax and prepare for sleep; vanilla, lavender, marjoram, and sandalwood are just a few examples. Use oils on your pillow, a diffuser or candles for the air, or essential oils in your bath.
The Best Bedtime Routine:
Consistency: Start your bedtime routine at the same time each day and maintain a regular sleep time. This helps condition your body to fall asleep faster and creates an unbreakable habit.
Bath: Taking a warm bath before crawling into bed can help you relax and raise your body temperature. The cooling of your body in a low temperature room helps you fall asleep faster.
Tea or milk: A small mug of tea, or glass of milk is another great way to calm your mind and body and prepare for sleep, but steer clear of caffeinated teas!
Pick up a book: Reading an entertaining or boring book helps clear your mind. Stay away from stimulating or self-help books though; they rev up your brain.
Relaxation: Try yoga or gentle stretching. Do progressive relaxation; tighten each muscle for a count of ten and then release. It will relax your body and minimize muscle aches and pains.
Journal: Journaling is a great way to let go of busy thoughts. Try visualizing soothing images such clouds or a peaceful place; a garden or field or beach, whatever soothes you. It helps quiet the mind and release anxious thoughts.
Bed spread: One of the most important factors is that you are comfortable. Make sure you have a comfortable and supportive mattress. It’s worth the investment, as you spend one third of your life in bed. Use comfortable soft sheets and a comforter. Smooth, quality bedding helps soothe and relax your body to fall asleep faster.
Pajamas: Wear pajamas that are loose, light, and cool. Cotton works best as it minimizes nighttime sweating. You can also sleep without pajamas if that tickles your fancy. Stay away from binding or hot PJs make for restless and uncomfortable sleep.
Posture: Sleep positions matters. Find a comfortable sleep position that supports your body. Make sure every part of your body is comfortable. Buy a good quality pillow that supports your neck and properly aligns your body. Try your best to lie in the same position every night, this way your body can become accustomed to it.
Follow as many of these as you can, implementing them one by one if you need to. Over time you should notice the quality of your sleep start to improve, giving you more energy throughout the day to get on with the things you love most, and helping you rely less on that morning coffee!