5 Habits Saved My Sleep!
They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing! Sleep is so important for your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. These tips are adapted from author & researcher Dr. Matthew Walker‘s amazing book: Why We Sleep. Read this book and follow his great advice. See one of our providers unless you are included in the 1% who get 8-9 hours of sleep every night!
- Schedule for Sleep – Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day! This is a non-negotiable: give yourself the same 8 hours of sleep opportunity (as possible) every night. For most adults, the optimal sleep schedule is 10pm to 6am.
- Avoid Uppers and Downers at the Wrong Time of Day
- Stimulants: Caffeinated tea and coffee are best used in low or moderate amounts early in the day. Nicotine is highly addictive and will age you quickly. Medication and some vitamins and supplements can also be stimulants or sleep inducing. Ask your doctor or practitioner if anything you are taking is one of these types. Also, avoid large dinners. Large meals late in the day can cause indigestion and restlessness. If you are hungry later in the day, a light snack is fine before bed. Exercise is a great stimulant, but too late in the day and all that adrenaline and oxygen flowing through your system will make it difficult to sleep! Get your exercise in as early as possible!
- Alcohol & Naps: Alcohol is the biggest suppressor of REM sleep. If you are going to drink, then only drink one glass of wine early in the evening. Drinking too much of anything just before bed is also a bad idea. You don’t want to be woke up because of frequent urination. Naps can also be a great idea for some people. However, naps taken too late in the day (after 3pm) or for too long in duration (25-40 minutes depending on how long it takes you to fall asleep) can make it difficult for you to get to sleep at bedtime.
- Video and Screen Time Limits – Watching TV shows or using brightly lit devices in the evening trains your brain to think it’s day time. Stop screen time 1-2 hours before bed. Keep them as far away from your bed as possible. Keeping them out of your room is best. If you have a certain show you like to watch or have computer work to do later in the day, try using blue light blocking glasses or install light blocking apps (search blue light filter like Twilight for Android in your app store) .
- Environment Changes to Optimize Sleep – Make changes that prepare your body for sleep. Get good sunlight exposure during the day. Keep lights dim and the temps cooler in the bedroom at bedtime. Move the television out of your bedroom!
- Don’t Lie Awake at Night – Routine and good habits during the day will help your body prepare itself for sleep at a good time. If your mind is keeping you awake: journal at your bedside (especially a gratitude journal!) or read for a little while. If you are one of those people who always “think of something you forgot” while trying to get to sleep, keep pen and paper by your bed for a to-do-later list. Many people enjoy playing calm music or sounds of the ocean or rain storms. If you have a player that will automatically shut off after 15-20 minutes that is best! Remember your ears don’t shut off after you go to sleep at night. Your subconscious brain doesn’t need to keep busy interpreting sounds all night long.
Do you want to really change your life? Try getting 8-9 hours of sleep for the next 30 days! Be prepared for how great you will feel and how productive you’ll be! Sleep changes everything.