How To Sleep Better
We spend one third of our lives in bed, yet so many of us wake up feeling stiff, sore, and generally exhausted. Since a good night’s rest has a direct affect on both your mental and physical health, it’s important to create a calming and relaxing environment in the bedroom. I know it’s easier said than done, but by introducing a few simple tips into your routine, will have you sleeping like a baby in no time. If you’re looking for higher energy levels, a more productive work week, and an all-around happier lifestyle, keep reading.
The first step is to set a sleep schedule. Going to bed at the exact same time, as well as sleeping the same number of hours each night, will allow you to feel more refreshed and energized in the morning. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of sleep you get. Derek and I started implementing this a few years ago, and we no longer require an alarm clock, as our bodies know when it is time to get up. Try picking a bedtime when you normally start to feel tired, so you’re not tossing and turning for hours, but also avoid sleeping in. You may need an alarm to begin with, but eventually your body will tell you when you’ve had enough sleep. Stick to this routine, even on the weekends. I also suggest avoiding naps, even if it was a late night the day before. While you think naps are making up for lost sleep, it can actually make things worse.
Next up, create a calming sleep environment. The ambience in your bedroom can make a huge difference on the quality of your sleep. Think soft neutral colours and a room free of clutter and electronics. A messy bedroom can create an unsettling feeling and make it almost impossible to relax, so make sure it’s tidy. Place items that aren’t in use in storageon a bookshelf/ storage box and locate frequently-used items inside your night stand. place items that you frequently use the most in your bedside table. Not only areis your phone and laptop distracting, the blue light emitted from them it can actually trick the brain into thinking it’s time to wake up. Place items that aren’t in use in storage and locate frequently-used items inside your night stand. Not only are your phone and laptop distracting, the blue light emitted from it can actually trick the brain into thinking it’s time to wake up. Ideally you want your electronics out of the room, so there’s no temptation, but tucked away and out of sight in your nightstand is just fine. Don’t forget to lower your thermostat in the evening, the ideal sleep degree is between 16°C to 18°C. Too much light, from either inside or outside of the home, is one of the biggest deterrents to your quality of sleep. I highly suggest investing in some blackout curtains.
We’re super lucky to have so many options when it comes to mattresses. From soft and firm, to twin and king, to memory foam and springs, the possibilities are endless. Last month, I shared my tips on “how to choose the perfect mattress”, and I’m happy to report that I’m still loving my new Douglas mattress from GoodMorning.com. Although I was a little hesitant, when my new fancy mattress came in a tiny box, but as soon as I watched it “spring” to life (after releasing the vacuum-seal), I could see how plush and fluffy it really was. The brand mentioned that it may take upwards of 24 hours to reach its full size, ours was perfect for sleeping almost immediately. I wish I could give you all the details on how I slept that first night, but as soon as my head hit the pillow, it was lights out. I don’t actually remember falling asleep, which means I passed out immediately.
Unlike our old mattress, where I could hear and feel Derek moving around every 30 minutes, The Douglas’ (from GoodMorning.com) unique memory foam formula is more durable, ensuring superior motion isolation, so that I’m not bothered by his constant movements. In fact, Derek told me he woke up in the same position as he went to sleep in? Maybe he’s not moving as much as he used to, and is actually sleeping through the night? Having a mattress that supports both our unique bodies, no matter how we move, has made a significant difference in how we both feel in the morning. Within a week, we noticed a pattern, we were falling asleep quicker and actually sleeping throughout the night. We used to lay in bed chatting for hours, but now we can hardly keep our eyes open. We’ve started to implement a few changes in our sleep routine this month, and in combination with our new mattress, we’ve both noticed a dramatic difference. We both feel more rested when we wake up and I find I have more focus throughout the day. I’m accomplishing more at work and my body just feels healthier. We’ve always known the importance of having a good mattress, and actually thought our previous one was amazing, until we tried the Douglas. I now realize how vital a mattress is to my overall health.
Speaking of health, your diet is a huge factor when it comes to your sleeping patterns. You may notice that if you eat a large meal right before bed, you have a hard time falling asleep. You have to be smart about what you eat and drink throughout the day. Obviously, avoiding caffeine and sugary drinks before bed is a must, but so is avoiding large meals. Derek and I like the 16/8 lifestyle, and although it’s not for everyone, we usually end up having our dinner around 4PM. While this may sound early for some, not having a heavy and rich meal a few hours before we go to sleep is key in a better night’s sleep. As important as hydration is, drinking too many glasses of water right before bed, may leave you running to and from the bathroom all night. Try finishing your beverages at least a few hours before you go to bed.
We’re all busy and have a million things on the go, but clearing your head before you go to sleep, will reduce the chances of you waking up during the night. Major stress and consistent worrying can make it incredibly difficult to fall asleep (and stay asleep). Get in the habit of creating a relaxing bedtime ritual to help you prepare your mind for sleep. Maybe this is taking a warm bubble bath, practicing relaxation techniques, doing yoga or meditation, listening to soft music or even listening to a podcast or audiobook while you laydown. Anything you can do to clear your head, relax the mind and unwind, will help you sleep soundly. Our brains are so used to seeking stimulation throughout the day, it has a hard time turning it off come the evening. Put away those cellphones and get off social media. Make a list of things that need to be accomplished tomorrow, so you’re not up all night thinking about what needs to be done.
Finally, keep moving. Exercising boosts the effects of natural sleep hormones, such as melatonin, which can help you sleep better in the evening. It’s recommended that you workout, or get your fitness on, during the day. Exercising too close to your bedtime can be too stimulating and may get you too hyped to fall asleep.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GoodMorning.com, but all opinions on this blog are my own. I also want to thank you for supporting the brands that support my blog.