Looking to improve your sleep? You’d be wise to do so. Sleep has so many important effects on your mind and body. Good sleep can strengthen your immune system, improve your memory, boost your mood, and increase your concentration. Poor quality sleep, on the other hand, can lead to stress, weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more.
If you want to take your sleep to the next level, it’s time to invest in your sleeping routine. Read on to learn our favorite ways to invest in your sleep and achieve the best sleep possible.
Develop Good Sleep Hygiene
When it comes to sleep, the best way to see results is to create sleep-friendly habits. Many choices you make during the day may, in fact, worsen your sleep that night. Incorporate these habits into your routine:
- Don’t consume coffee or other caffeinated beverages after noon. Often, we turn to coffee because we are tired, and then find ourselves struggling to sleep at night. In the morning, the only solution is more coffee. This cycle of over caffeination and exhaustion is difficult to break.
- Turn off all screens an hour before bed. Easier said than done, I know! The stimulating blue light they emit is a known disruptor of your circadian rhythm and can signal to your body that it’s time to wake up when it’s really time for sleep. Instead, read a book or listen to calming music.
- If you do find yourself tired in the middle of the day, limit naps to 15-20 minutes. You’ll be able to achieve rejuvenating sleep without disrupting your sleep routine. If it’s already after 3:00 p.m., try to forgo the nap altogether.
Optimize Your Bedroom
Your bedroom is like the control center of your nightly sleep. If you want refreshing and rejuvenating sleep, you need to start with your bedroom. Here’s what to do:
- Install blackout curtains over your standard blinds to keep light pollution from your neighbors, traffic, and local businesses out of your room. Pull them tightly closed every night before bed.
- If you share a bed with a partner, invest in a memory foam mattress that will prevent their movement from disturbing you at night and disrupting your sleep.
- Purchase an essential oils diffuser and add calming oils like lavender and chamomile to it when you’re getting ready for bed. Over time, your body will learn that these scents mean it’s time for bed, which can signal to your body to start generating the sleep hormone melatonin.
- If you must look at screens like your computer screen, TV, or cell phone within an hour of sleep, consider buying blue light glasses. These block blue light and can protect your circadian rhythm.
- A weighted blanket can be an easy answer to calm and relax you before bed. This technology uses plastic or glass beads to add weight to the blanket. It can help you achieve better sleep by applying Deep Touch Pressure, which has a calming effect on your body and mind.
Develop a Sleep Routine
Dedication to a regular and consistent routine surrounding sleep can be invaluable when it comes to both the amount and quality of your sleep. Use the following tips to create a sleep routine that works for your needs:
- If you need to wake up at a certain time during the week for your job, use that as a starting point in developing your sleep routine. This will be your wake time.
- Next, count 7-9 hours backwards from your wake time. You may know how many hours of sleep your body needs; if not, start with 7 with the knowledge that you can adjust down the line. This will establish your bedtime.
- Stick to these two times, even on the weekends. Don’t vary them by more than an hour. Though you may miss sleeping in on the weekends, you’ll find that your overall sleep quality is dramatically improved.
If you want to be energetic, productive, and healthy, it’s essential to get enough sleep. Try out these tips and see which ones are most effective at helping you get a good night’s sleep!