Sleep. We all need it, but we (probably) don’t get enough of it. Your phone is buzzing. Your kids are barging in with bad dreams. Your dog is barking. There’s a car running on the street. You can’t stop stressing about work or shut your brain off after a busy day. Whatever the issue may be, quality sleep can feel like a myth, not a reality.
Not anymore! In honor of Sleep Awareness Week — and the importance of sleep in general — we’ve put together a few simple ways to improve your sleep hygiene and get your bedtime routine in order so you can enjoy better sleep, starting tonight. Of course, if you’re really not sleeping well and it’s taking a toll on your entire life, you may want to consult a physician for insight.)
Wind down well before bedtime.
This isn’t the time for a high-octane cardio workout or stressful work task. About an hour before bedtime, start winding down from the day. Take a bath. Read a book. Watch a favorite show with a cup of tea in hand. Think de-stressing, relaxing activities that help ease you into a sleepy state. Find a routine that works for you and make it a ritual every night, or whatever feels feasible for your day-to-day schedule. Your body will pick up on the cues in no time.
Turn your bedroom into a cave.
Well, kind of. Many sleep experts recommend a cool, dark, quiet space as ideal for sleep. Give yourself permission to splurge on nice bedding to make your bed somewhere you feel extremely comfortable and cozy, but not sweaty or stuffy. Keep the room cool, not cold, and run a fan if you need to. If it’s super bright in your bedroom, buy some dark or blackout drapes or find a sleep mask that fits comfortably to block out excess light.
No computers allowed!
Do not finish that work task in bed, or scroll away three hours on TikTok. It happens, but it shouldn’t become a habit. Digital devices can seriously disrupt sleep due to their blue light, which interrupts the production of melatonin. Watching a show on your phone or tablet isn’t helping you wind down, it’s keeping you up! Keep your phone on night mode and vibrate or do not disturb to reduce text message distractions.
Don’t overdo it before bed.
This applies to eating a heavy meal or a super-spicy one, which can cause heartburn and discomfort, drinking too many cocktails, or working out too strenuously. Anything that leaves you feeling full, uncomfortable, or super energetic will keep you up longer than necessary.
Get enough sleep, not too much or too little.
The CDC recommends adults get 7+ hours of sleep per night. Find the amount that works for you; you should wake up feeling rested and ready for the day, not groggy from sleeping too long or exhausted from tossing and turning.
Keep it quiet.
There’s a reason sound machines have become so popular for kids and adults alike — they work! A simple sound can shush out distracting noise from the street and the little creaks and sounds of your household at night.
Deal with your stress.
A racing mind can keep you up much longer than you should be, simply because you can’t turn it off and let go. Try writing out what’s on your mind shortly before bed or add a supplement like Floradix® Ashwagandha Liquid Supplement to your routine to help you deal with daily stress.*
Try a guided sleep meditation.
Once you’ve completed your bedtime ritual, sink into dreams with a little help from a guided sleep meditation. It’s a great way to begin a meditation practice in general, as well as quieting your mind and focusing your thoughts on calm, relaxation, and best of all, a good night’s sleep.