We all know that getting enough sleep every night is vital for our bodies and for our minds to function properly, but honestly sometimes catching enough Zzz’s can be quite challenging!
All kinds of things can have a negative impact on our quality of sleep such as: being overworked, stress, having a poor diet and eating late, financial problems, staying up late and watching your favorite Netflix show or even checking your Instagram in bed before you to go sleep. Not only have I experienced all of the above, especially checking my Instagram, but I’ve also spent numerous nights lying awake in bed, tossing and turning and just hoping that I would fall asleep within the next two hours. Yep, it’s been pretty bad at times but luckily I’ve gained some valuable information that has helped me tremendously. Here are my Top 5 Tips for better sleep.
Turn the lights down low
I’ve gotten into the habit of dimming the lights in my home right after I’ve had dinner. Why? By lowering the brightness of the lights you are automatically sending your brain a signal that it’s time to take things down a notch, to relax and slow down. This really helps me adjust to lower lighting and makes it easier to fall asleep later on. Also, make sure that you have good blinds or curtains that block out all light and keep your bedroom nice and dark. Although it makes perfect sense, it really does make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep.
Put your electronic devices away 1 hour prior to bed
I’m serious, numerous studies have shown that the blue light emitted from these devices, can be harmful to our overall health and actually have a negative impact on Melatonin, the hormone responsible for helping us fall asleep, thus as a result keeping us awake longer at night. I highly recommend you read Jessica Schmerler’s Article Q&A: Why Is Blue Light before Bedtime Bad for Sleep? published online at Scientific American, where she discusses the effects of blue light with neuroscientists George Brainard from Thomas Jefferson University, and with Anne-Marie Chang from Harvard University. Now there is nothing wrong with using Sleep Apps or listening to your favorite Librivox recording as you tuck in, just make sure your device is not right beside you but rather on your desk or nightstand, facing down and obviously make sure the volume is not set too loud or this could have a negative impact on your REM Sleep.
Indulge in a relaxing activity
For me, I like to read a good book or put on some soft music and immerse myself in color therapy thanks to my fun coloring books. I absolutely love it! For some people, this could also mean meditating or journaling. Find out what speaks to you and give it a try. In case you didn’t know, there are loads of really fun coloring books out there for adults. You can find them at your local craft store, bookstore or online at Amazon.
Enjoy a nice cup of herbal tea to unwind
There are loads of great teas and hot beverages out there that can really help you unwind and relax before bed. Chamomile and Peppermint teas are two of my personal favorites. Chamomile contains flavonoids which have sleep-inducing properties that are easily picked up by our brains. Not only does it taste light, floral/herbal but it always makes me feel warm and makes me feel really, really good. As for peppermint tea, I love the refreshing taste and the menthol from the plant is very relaxing for body, mind and soul! If these aren’t your cup of tea (pun intended), then you might want to try teas with the following ingredients in them: Orange Blossoms, Root, Lavender, Passion Flower or Lemon balm. Most of these teas can be found at your local grocery or health food store or online at Amazon.
Diffuse some essential Oils
Essential Oils work wonders not only to make our homes smell nice but they are actually very beneficial too. The use of the proper oils can help us unwind, feel happier, and sleep better. One of the popular scents for relaxation and sleep is Lavender, it is known for its calming and healing properties. It helps relieve reduce anxiety, relieve stress and naturally improve the overall quality of sleep. I like to put 5 drops of lavender oil into my diffuser and let it fill my bedroom before I hit the sheets. If you plan on working with aromatherapy oils, I highly suggest you invest in a good diffuser. I have one from Sage (link to Sage) but you can also pick up some really stylish ones on their site too.
I hope that you’ll try some of the things I’ve mentioned above and let me know if they worked for you. Also, I’d love to hear some of your sleep aids so please make sure to share them with us in the comments below.
Wishing you all sweet dreams…