best tips for a good night's sleep
Sleep is super important for our body's daily functioning. Most of us may already know this, but how many of us are actually getting quality, uninterrupted sleep every night? Between scrolling on social media, binge watching shows, or just overthinking late at night, the struggle to get into a restful state can be challenging. Most adults need between 6-8 hours of sleep for memory function, rejuvenation, energy levels and many more benefits.
Let's talk about a few ways that you can wind down for bed, easily fall asleep, and get the sleep you deserve.
1. SET THE AMBIANCE
Make your surroundings peaceful, comfortable, and dim. Light your favorite candles (just don't forget to put them out), dim your lights if possible, play some relaxing music. Imagine going to a spa or having that relaxing hotel feel. Spray your sheets with linen spray. The ability to change your surroundings will have a direct effect on your mood.
A clean space always feels good to come into when you're getting ready for sleep. Clutter on the bed, floor or surroundings can cause stress, anxiety, and prevent you from feeling relaxed. Try leaving your room tidy and ready for peaceful rest before you head to work. Make your bed, leave your favorite blanket in sight, and set up your space to feel zen and homely.
2. SLOW IT DOWN
Slowing down your movement before bed will help your body become more relaxed, and closer to it's state of rest. Try some static stretching, light yoga, or simply some neck rolls before bed. Releasing tension and stress in the body will help prepare you for a good night's sleep.
Try this stretch video before bed to help you sleep throughout the night and feel refreshed in the morning. You can also try guided meditations on your favorite music streaming app. A good guided sleep meditation will put you in a sleep state within 10 minutes if you allow your body to relax. It may take you finding a few options to see if you enjoy the tone.
3. READ A BOOK
Reading a book or magazine is a good way to slow down our brains from overthinking and focusing on too many things at once. I don't know about you, but I usually fall asleep while reading a book, and I never remember what part I started drifting off at. Reading gives the eyes a bit of a workout, so once your eyes have had enough for the day, they will shut down and lead you into a sleep cycle. If you have smart bulbs or lights where you can set a sleep timer, then you should do this if you plan on falling sleep while reading.
4. SOUND MEDITATION
Sound meditation is one of my favorite parts of my nightly routine. I particularly enjoy the sounds of sound bowls, pink noises, and water in nature. Another term for these types of sounds would be ASMR. ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. This describes how people react to certain sounds, vibrations, and tones.
You can find channels or podcasts that offer various sound mediations on YouTube, Spotify or Apple Music. I also like to set a sleep timer for this so that my phone battery doesn't die throughout the night.
5. NO PHONES IN BED
This is probably the most challenging to stay consistent with. Humans are addicted to phones, technology, and always being in touch with other people. How many times have you stayed up way later than you wanted because you were scrolling on TikTok? How many times have you answered someone who text you about work and you decided to get back to them at 10pm?
Our phones can not only be a big distraction, but it's medically proven that the blue light in our phones can prevent us from getting a good night's rest. According to Harvard Health Publishing, "While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light at night does so more powerfully. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours)."
The solution to this would be limiting phone access before bed, and ideally putting your phone on a dresser, night table or counter at least 1 hour before bed. Not only will your eyes benefit, but so will your brain.
Incorporating these tips into your nighttime routine can make a huge difference on your sleep quality.
You can start with one, or multiple. Find what works best for you and what produces the best sleep. You can always track your sleep cycle on apps like FitBit or Apple Watch. Remember that sleep is a natural and necessary part of our day. If you want to feel your best and do your best, you have to prioritize rest.