Sleep health is a thing and should be on your radar next to eating healthy, exercising, and avoiding bad habits. Luckily, we’ve uncovered 7 simple secrets that may help give you a night of sleep to remember.
No, that nightcap won’t help you sleep better. In fact, it may worsen your sleep. Additionally, coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages may also prevent you from enjoying a sound night’s sleep. To combat this, stop drinking caffeinated beverages by 2pm to allow time for the effects to wear off. Instead, try herbal tea and, although it doesn’t sound fun, plain old water. Staying hydrated will contribute to a good night’s sleep, so drink up.
You probably think we’re going to tell you to eat your vegetables and stay away from processed foods. However, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn what sleep superfoods we’re actually promoting.
A whole-wheat pasta dish with, yes, fresh vegetables and even diced chicken breast qualifies as a sleep promoting superfood. You can even add some Parmesan cheese for extra taste, and comfort.
Remember, though, eating a big meal too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep, so plan your last meal of the day around your bedtime.
There are free apps for this, so take advantage! Listening to calming music before bed can slow your heart rate and breathing, relax your muscles, calm your mind, and reduce stress and anxiety. If you’re particular about your music, create a playlist of your favorite mellow songs and use that as your nighttime melody.
Taking a nice warm soak before bed may seem like a relaxing way to prep for sleep, but think again. Raising your body temperature before bed can delay your sleep. Often our bodies need to cool down before entering a sound slumber. Try to bathe a few hours before turning down to allow your body time to acclimate.
Bonus: Try to exercise early in the day, rather than right before you go to sleep. Exercise also raises your body temperature, so it can delay sleep. Instead, reserve your evenings for sleep initiating activities that allow your body to cool down.
Don’t go from a fully lit room to a completely dark room cold turkey. Give your body time to adjust by dimming the lights about an hour before you actually want to fall asleep. Dimness signals to the body that it’s time to wind down, so give it the hint it needs. You can also try aromatherapy as part of your wind-down routine. Many people love using lavender scents to prepare for sleep.
Additionally, going to bed at the same time every day (weekend or not) creates a routine for your body, which will ultimately help you fall asleep faster. Waking up at the same time every day also helps ensure you don’t have a sleep hangover in the morning. It may be hard at first, but this is one of the most effective things you can do for your sleep health.
Scrolling through social media while preparing for sleep has become habit for many, but doing so actually prevents you from entering a deep, restful sleep. Sending that last email so you don’t have to in the morning may seem proactive, but it could be interrupting your sleep before you even fall asleep. Not only can this wind you up depending on what you’re reading, but even the vibration of your phone during the night can disrupt your rest and prevent you from entering those necessary deep sleep stages to feel rejuvenated in the morning.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t involve exercise. Rather, participating in a calming restorative yoga flow before bedtime can help prepare your mind for sleep, steady your breath, and reduce muscle tension to allow for ultimate relaxation. It won’t get your heart pumping or give you a sudden burst of energy, as most of the poses can be achieved laying down. Do this in a dimly lit room while listening to calming music and you’ll kill three birds with one stone.
If sleep is important to you, and it should be, consider using these 7 sleep promoting tips to enjoy the best night’s sleep of your life. Take it a step further and make sleep health a habit, and let us know how restful sleep has made your life is so much better!
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