If you’ve been thinking all morning about pouring yourself a fourth cup of coffee, you’ve come to the right place. How much sleep did you get last night? Was it quality sleep, or did you find yourself tossing and turning the whole night through?
With our busy, hectic lives, it’s easy to forgo solid sleep in lieu of the many demands on your time. Even if you do get to bed early enough, stress can play a factor in the quality of sleep you get, and a restless night’s sleep isn’t going to do you any favors.
Luckily, there are a few easy tricks you can try to improve your sleep and feel rested, energized, and happy all day long.
- Reset your mind. If you’re struggling to sleep, get up and walk around the house for a few minutes. It might seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes simply resetting and trying again can be the trick to get those zzz’s. At the same time, don’t spend a ton of time trying to sleep – the pressure can actually make it more difficult to do so.
- Keep your phone out of sight. The blue light emitted by electronics – particularly your phone – can keep you awake for hours on end, as it signals the brain that it’s time to be awake. Plus, your phone contains many stressors (social media, email, texts from friends and family galore), that can stress your mind and take it out of sleep mode. Keep your phone away from your bed, or, better yet, out of the bedroom.
- Prioritize a bedtime routine. The more you can standardize your pre-snooze activities, the more your mind will get used to those signals and find it easier to doze off. Read a book each night to calm your mind. Wear actual pajamas – or get into a routine of wearing similar clothes each night – to signal your brain it’s time to sleep. The more you can get your body into a rhythm with your bedtime routine, the easier you’ll find it to get to sleep when the time comes.
- Reserve your bed as a haven for sleep. Avoid work, laundry, entertainment, and socializing in bed. Use this place as a sanctuary and a safe haven for sleep alone. This will signal your brain that when you’re there, it’s time to get some shut eye.
- Try some meditation. Anxiety keeping you awake? Take a few deep breaths and think peacefully. There are many guided meditations you can buy to listen to before bed if you aren’t sure how to do it yourself. Alternatively, try writing down what’s making you anxious and work it out on paper. Sometimes writing it down is just what you need to get your problems out of your head.
- Smell some lavender. The delicious herb is said to decrease blood pressure and calm you down. One trick? If you can sew, make yourself a small pillow laced with lavender and keep it on your bed.
- Fit exercise into your daily routine. Many studies show that those who are active get better sleep and find it easier to fall asleep. If evening exercise tends to keep you awake longer (which makes sense, as your body is in “active” mode later in the day), try switching your routine and working out in the mornings.
How do you get the best night’s sleep possible? We’d love to hear your best tricks in the comments!