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Time to close those blinds, climb into bed, and fall asleep into a peaceful dream. Sounds simple! The reality? Many struggle to peacefully fall asleep when the sun does. Nothing is more aggravating than tossing and turning… and possibly watching your significant other snoring happily away!
Alas, there are some ways to fix this nightly inconvenience! Read below for some tips to sleeping better at night!
Put Away the Electronics
You may have heard of this wonderful hormone called melatonin that helps the body into relaxing for a good night’s sleep. When you lay down and decide you want to watch T.V. or scroll social media before bed, your electronics emit blue-light. Your brain interprets this as day-time and tells your body to reduce melatonin secretion. This in turn affects your natural ability to secrete melatonin and results in difficulty sleeping. So put that phone down or turn off the T.V. and try reading a book or journaling to unwind!
Not only do your electronics emit blue-light, but they can cause unnecessary stress right before bed. Stress is a huge factor when it comes to disruptive sleep.
Increase day-time light exposure
Depending on your work environment or social factors (thank you COVID!) many can experience a lack of natural light. Your circadian rhythm can be thrown off by this. Sorry for all the medical terms, but I absolutely adore anatomy and all things medical! Your circadian rhythm helps your body with the natural waking/sleeping cycle.
Daylight exposure tells our body it’s daytime! Be sure you’re getting enough so your body is ready for night-time. If need be, invest in an artificial light system! This one works perfect for an office environment.
Nightly pick-up of clutter
House clutter = brain clutter.
Try picking up at night and watch your body instantly relax! It gives you less to do in the morning and you won’t be thinking about it all night when you should be sleeping.
Prepare a to-do list for the next day
Personally, when I lay down at night my brain instantly thinks about what I need to do. My husband will tell me to just turn my brain off and we both laugh at the thought of that ever happening! Preparing a list for the next day will help ease your mind and keeps all your thoughts on paper rather than floating around in your head.
Imagine a fall day when all the leaves have fallen off the trees. These leaves are like your thoughts. Just a quick breeze and they’re jumbled everywhere. Writing your thoughts down is like raking up those leaves and bagging them so they’re all in one place!
Establish a consistent sleep schedule
Consistency in life is so important!
When you’re consistent in the gym, you develop a healthy exercise habit.
When you’re consistent with your diet, you develop a healthy way of living.
Same with your sleep! When you’re consistent with your sleep, you develop a successful sleeping habit. You can train your body to do amazing things… like treating yourself to that delightful dose of rest!
Watch your caffeine, alcohol, and food intake
Here’s a little more medical information for you! Your central nervous system can be affected by these, which in turn affects your natural sleeping ability. Caffeine and alcohol stimulate the brain and speed up your heart rate. Try sticking with caffeine only in the morning and not consuming alcohol or food near night-time. Alcohol and food can reduce your natural melatonin production, which as we learned impacts your sleep.
Yes, most of us have been there… you may argue alcohol makes it easier to sleep. You come home from a party or social gathering and crash on the couch. Been there! Falling asleep does seem to come easy, but staying asleep and the quality of that sleep is not the greatest. That’s because your sleep hormones are affected by alcohol.
Make sure your body is hydrated
Water will never fail you! Water and your body should have a love-love relationship! It helps rid the body of toxins and helps your muscles and joints relax. Relaxation promotes a calm, soothing night’s rest so you’re energized and ready to tackle the following day! Add in an amazing morning routine and you’re ready to go!
Try drinking a full glass of water an hour or so before you plan to sleep to give yourself time for a potty break so it doesn’t happen when you’re deep in a dream!
Try stretching, yoga, or meditation
These calming exercises are so beneficial! Stretching, yoga, and meditation can relieve you of stress and negative emotions or thoughts. Not only will it benefit your mind, but your muscles will be much more relaxed. This can help reduce pain before bed and even upon waking!
There are many helpful YouTube videos dedicated to these forms of exercise or you can even try BeachBody on Demand! That program is a personal favorite of mine!
Invest in a comfortable sleeping environment
Your sleep environment can heavily impact your quality of sleep. Try investing in a few of the sleep-aids below to improve your sleep! I personally use them all!
- Memory foam/body-conforming pillow (I use this one!)
- Weighted blanket (I use this one!)
- White noise (I use this one!)
Also, make sure your room is a comfortable temperature! Sleeping and sweating don’t mix too well! I personally enjoy a cooler room with a thick, cuddly blanket!
Try natural/herbal supplements
Sometimes your body may need that extra push! ALWAYS consult with your family doctor before adding supplements into your regimen to be sure they don’t interfere with your medications or to rule out sleeping disorders or other medical conditions.
Melatonin can be used OTC if your body struggles to naturally produce it. There are so many options when it comes to melatonin so it may take some time to find what works for you!
Try putting a lavender essential oil in a diffuser or using it as a pillow spray to put your body in a calm state. I honestly love this lavender pillow spray!
Another herbal route I personally enjoy is CBD and kratom. CBD comes in many forms including tinctures, capsules, and gummies! I love my CBD gummies when I know I’m going to struggle sleeping for whatever reason. I add in kratom when I’m going through a particularly stressful time and need that additional help. I get my CBD and kratom from this vendor (https://ohiobotanicals.com/).
Keep track of your night-time routine
With any schedule change always be open to altering it! Keep a diary to rule out what is working and what is not. Add in one thing at a time and give it a week or two (I always err towards two). Did it affect you positively? Negatively? How? A sleep diary can help you narrow down what your routine needs to look like!
What does your night-time routine look like?
Check out this post to help you with establishing an amazing morning routine!