4 Tips for Better Sleep
Feeling stressed out lately? Or simply exhausted? Maybe the solution is better sleep.
The time you go to bed, your bedtime habits, and day-to-day lifestyle choices, have a large impact on the quality of your sleep.
The following tips will help you improve your sleep so that you can be energized, mentally sharp, emotionally stable, and ready to go all day long.
Believe it or not, getting better sleep can also help you burn fat or build muscle.
1. Set a time when you have to be in bed
Get into bed and get up at the same time every day.
Being consistent emphasizes your body’s sleep-wake cycle and results in better sleep. Your body will become accustomed to the new times, and you’ll start to feel naturally tired around your new bedtime.
Here’s another key tip, if you don’t fall asleep within about 15-20 minutes, you should get up and do something calming. Go back to bed when you feel tired again.
If you wrestle over falling asleep, you might find it even tougher to sleep again.
Your parents probably gave you a bedtime when you were a kid, now you need to give yourself one.
2. Turn off all electronics at least 30 mins before bed
Let’s face it, technology is a huge part of our lives in the 21st century. Pros and cons to our growing connectivity certainly exist; we are able to stay connected to the world from the secrecy of our own homes, late into the night.
However, we are very sensitive to the light that our devices emit.
Scrolling through Instagram and Facebook will stimulate your mind, and will encourage even more wakefulness.
Studies have shown that even our small electronic devices, discharge enough light to miscue the brain and uphold wakefulness. So when you are trying to fall asleep, don’t check your phone or text anyone. 30 minutes before bed turn off all TVs, phones and lights.
3. Dim the lights, it increases Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, and it affects our body’s sleep-wake cycle. Our body has it’s own internal clock that controls the normal cycle of sleeping and waking. Your internal clock can dictate how much melatonin your body produces.
Melatonin production is activated by darkness and decreased by light, and that explains why people have anxiety with jet lag or shift work.
Artificial light exposure at night or before bed, will lessen sleep quality by decreasing melatonin production.
This is why Melatonin is available as an over the counter sleep aid.
You can take melatonin and it will make you feel tired. However, melatonin supplements are not always ideal, and you definitely shouldn’t rely on a pill to fall asleep.
An hour or two before you go to bed, dim the lights in your room. Maybe turn off the bigger light and turn on a small desk lamp.
4. Meditate a few times a week
Sleep is important for both our mental and physical health, but sometimes falling asleep can be a real challenge.
Meditation is a great way to help you get the sleep that your body needs.
There are many ways that meditation can encourage better sleep. You could practice progressive muscle relaxation to sleep. This is when you systematically tense and relax diverse muscle groups in your body to help you relax.
Progressive relaxation can be used day or night for overall relaxation, but it is slightly better for encouraging better sleep at night.
You could also try standard guided meditation, breathe deeply and try to clear your mind. This basic meditation helps me a lot when I get stressed out, or if I can’t stop thinking about something.
I personally use a free app for this, called Calm.
I put in my headphones and select a guided meditation track, I usually do about 10 minutes. Its available for Iphone or Android devices.
Blacken your room, lie down, and adjust your pillows and blankets until you are fully relaxed.