Sleep. It’s so important. A good night’s sleep? Even more important! And it’s something we take for granted – until we’re struggling to sleep well. Then all we can think about is sleep and it (ironically) keeps us up at night. When you sleep well, it positively affects your mental and physical health – as much as diet and exercise can. Here’s where we come in with tips and tricks proven to help you get the recommended 8 hours of shut eye. Check them out!
Try to stick to the same bedtime and wakeup times every day. Doing this can help your body’s internal clock which can in turn help improve the quality of your sleep. Unfortunately, this also applies to weekends! Try not to sleep in to help maintain your sleep routine.
Cut the Caffeine
Try to avoid caffeine after noon as it can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. That includes caffeine found in regular coffee, tea, soft drinks, and even chocolate (this one hurts the most!). Caffeine is a stimulant and it can take hours to wear off – and that is not something we want when we’re trying to get some zzz’s.
While exercise in general helps to improve your sleep, exercising too close to bedtime can actually make it harder to fall asleep. Exercising gets your adrenaline pumping which can definitely hinder your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Try to finish any vigorous workout 3 or 4 hours before your ideal bedtime.
Avoid Blue Lights!
An hour or two before bedtime, turn off all blue light emitting devices. This means your cell phone (of course), tablet, laptop/computer and tv! The blue light these devices emit can disrupt your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you can’t turn off all devices, consider wearing blue light glasses or downloading an app that can block the blue light on your cell or laptop.
Take a Bath (or Shower)
A great way to help unwind before bed is by taking a bath or shower. A soothing bath with calming scents can help put you in the right frame of mind for sleep.
Create the Ultimate Sleep Environment
Take a look at your bedroom and see if it’s set up for optimal sleep. It should be dark – blackout curtains are a great investment. It should also be quiet – if there is outside noise you can’t eliminate (traffic, neighbours etc.) consider ear plugs or a sound machine. Your bed should also be comfortable! If you’re waking up sore and achy, consider experimenting with pillows or a pillow-top for your mattress (or a new mattress altogether). Speaking of your bed, avoid watching tv, working on your laptop, or answering emails on your phone while in bed. Keeping it just for sleep will help promote better and deeper sleep.
Give our tips a chance! And hopefully, by this time next week you’ll be sleeping more deeply each night.
To your Balanced health,
Your friends at The Balanced Company