Make the most out of your horizontal hours.
We spend a lot of time sleeping, talking about sleep, wishing we were still sleep, and maybe even not wanting to fall asleep at all (mom....5 more minutes!!!). So lets learn a bit about how we can make it better.
Sleep Hygiene 101
Good sleep starts the domino effect helping so many other areas in your life. Let's take a look at how to make the most of it.
Start with the basics. 8 hours a night, people! Easier said than done, I know. Here are some tips to help.
Going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day will help your circadian rhythm normalize and give your body a baseline of what to work with (Even on weekends and days off!) Figure out what works best for you and try to maintain that, start small with a goal of maybe 2 or 3 days a week and then maybe adding in another day each week and work your way to that routine. Also, try to stay away from day time napping. This will help to ensure that you are sleepy at bedtime.
Another helpful tip to keep your sleep on schedule is to create a sleep ritual. Some people may do relaxing stretching (https://www.healthline.com/health/stretching-before-bed) or breathing exercises (https://www.healthline.com/health/breathing-exercises-for-sleep). Using calming essential oils like lavender on your writs and sprayed onto your pillow can help help
Bed is for SLEEPING
Your body can associate your bed with whatever you do in it. If you are not only sleeping but also eating, watching TV, working on your lap top, reading and chatting on the phone all in your bed your body will not know what it is actually used for. Therefore, when the clock tells you its time to sleep, there is nothing telling your body it is time to sleep too. If you keep your bed purely for sleeping when you get in at bed time your body will know what to do there.
In order to get into this habit do your best not to spend too much time just laying in bed trying to sleep. If you can't seem to fall asleep after about 20 minutes, its okay, get up out of bed and do something calming or boring with dark or no lights to help you get sleepier. It is important not to do anything stimulating or entertaining (no aimless scrolling on FB or intsa!)
Exercise and Diet
These two words play a role in literally everything you do, including your sleep patterns. Getting exercise throughout your day is a good way to regulate all bodily functions, however, try not to do hard workouts a minimum of 4 hours before bed time.
A healthy balanced diet will also help to regulate overall body functioning, and again, timing matters. You don't want to be distracted by a grumbling tummy while trying to fall asleep, however, you don't want a heavy full meal sitting in your stomach right before bed either. As you begin to normalize daily routines your meal times should follow suit.
Most importantly create a space that is cozy, calming, and invites your to drift off effortlessly into an 8 hour dreamland.
These are just a few tips to help you make the most out of your sleep. Please comment with any that worked or didn't. Share some new tips that help you sleep and works best for you!