With today’s harried lifestyles, you are probably not even paying attention to your sleeping habits, or how they affect your entire life. Becoming of aware of how you approach sleeping will help you establish routines and attitudes that will help you sleep better, feel better, and even look better. You’ve heard some of these things before, but they bear repeating because they can often be overlooked.
Sleep to the Beat of Your Body Rhythms
Honoring the natural active/rest patterns of your body is a huge factor in getting better sleep, but often at odds with your active lifestyle and schedule. However, by taking a few steps to notice and follow your body’s lead, you will help re-set its sleep clock. First of all, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. That includes weekends. If you have been burning the midnight oil, take a nap during the day rather than slumbering past your normal wake-up time which will confuse your internal clock. Keep naps to a minimum of 20 minutes, and try to take them early in the afternoon.
Set the mood
Creating an environment that is conducive to sleep is so important. A calm, relaxing palette of colors, comfortable, season-appropriate bedding, light-blocking shades or curtains all make an oasis for optimum rest. Reserve the use of your bed for the 3 “S’s”: sleep, sex, and sickness. Always try to keep the temperature as cool as possible in your bedroom, and as hard as it may be, don’t watch television in your room right before bed, because it stimulates your brain.
Watch What You Eat, Drink & Think Before Bedtime
Caffeine can take up to 12 hours to leave your bloodstream, so avoid drinking it past the morning. The same goes for alcohol, which may initially make you drowsy, but will disturb your sleep cycle once you are asleep. Food & beverages should be monitored, such as avoiding large meals at night, and opting for healthier choices for any before-bed snacks. Of course, unless you like frequent trips to the bathroom, watch your liquid intake as you approach bedtime. Finally, practice relaxation techniques such as meditation to stop ruminating troublesome thoughts.
By making these adjustments to your lifestyle, you will train your body and mind to fall - and stay - asleep more easily, while improving your overall well-being.