Getting a good, restful night of sleep does the body a world of good. From increased energy to better memory, the benefits of a solid sleep schedule are endless. We will have an increased mental and physical health overall.
However, some people think that a good night’s sleep is simply impossible to get. That is simply not true! When we put in the effort to make our sleep arrangements more optimal, we are going to start receiving some of these great health benefits.
Here are the five tips you need to start getting the best night of sleep now.
Create an environment of absolute darkness.
Darkness is a signal to our bodies that it’s time to rest. It triggers our body to produce melatonin, which is the hormone that is most important in putting us to sleep. When we are bombarded with light, our bodies get easily confused about the time of day. We are much more sensitive to light than you might originally think. There was even a study that suggested our body can be affected by light even when our eyes our closed. One of the worst things you can do is play on your phone the few hours before bed. These devices give off the same wavelength as the sun.
It’s important to try to keep your bedroom completely dark and free of televisions or other electronic devices. Ensure that your blinds are completely dark, use an old-fashioned alarm clock, and buy a red-night light to make your room the best it can be for sleeping.
Embrace morning light.
Getting the right type of light at the right time of day can really improve how well we sleep. When we expose ourselves to natural sunlight, we are telling our bodies it’s time to wake up and start the day. When we spend all our time in our homes, our cars, or at work, we are depriving our bodies of the natural sunlight it needs.
Some ideas include drinking your morning coffee next to an open window, taking your dog on a walk each morning, or parking further away from the entrance of your work so you have a few more minutes outside. Even small exposures of morning light will help your body get ready for the day!
Create a bedtime routine.
Despite popular belief, each of us can be incredibly good at having a natural sleep rhythm. However, we have to give ourselves the proper tools in order to use it. The clock in our bodies is very sensitive, and yearns for a proper bedtime schedule. Aside from just having a regular bedtime, we can have an entire nighttime routine that prepares out bodies for sleep.
These routines include not having exercises three hours before bed or having any electronics on one hour beforehand. In the hour before bed, you might want to meditate, read, write or do light stretching before sleep. Find what routine works for you and stick to it.
Avoid stressful situations.
If you are having trouble sleeping, take a look at the emotional toll you are putting on yourself in the hours leading up to your bedtime. Reducing the amount of emotional tension will greatly help your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Any arguments, anxiety, and stressors that pop up right before bed will leave you feeling wound up. This can be one of the hardest habits to break.
You will have to make a solid rule that you will not do anything that might make you anxious in the evening. This includes not checking your bank account, or starting a new work project, or bringing up an emotional topic with your spouse. You will need to learn when to say no, and put your mental health first.
Never drink caffeine after noon.
Caffeine is the world’s most popular drug and for good reason. The energetic feelings it gives us are fantastic, and really help us get through the day. However the reason it’s so helpful is because you aren’t getting the best sleep you could. The caffeine withdrawal is what makes us feel extra groggy and miserable, putting us into a vicious cycle of needing it more and more. Caffeine too late in the day will only make your sleep schedule that much worse. There are ways to break your caffeine habits. Drink non-caffeinated herbal tea to help you get over the 3 p.m. slump, and drink sparkling water to replace your caffeinated beverage.
Getting a good night’s sleep can seem impossible, but when you put the effort in to make your sleep routine as normal as possible you will begin to see results. Our body’s clock yearns for the natural rhythm of a good sleep schedule. Put these tips to use and you will start to feel refreshed and ready to tackle on each day.