Sleep, as we all know, is essential to stay healthy. A restful night has many benefits such as increased focus, higher productivity, a healthy weight and harmonious social interactions. That last one is no surprise! Think of all the times you’ve had to deal with an annoying coworker after a sleepless night. Not easy, right? Getting enough sleep is good way to boost your mood and it can have a positive impact on your level of happiness. In fact, it is as important as healthy eating and exercise! What can you do to improve your nights and keep insomnia away? Try these ideas.
Turn your phone off!
Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to fall asleep. Fortunately, some simple habits can help. First things first: your smartphone! In this always-connected era, it’s time to unplug! So go ahead and turn off your cell, iPad, and laptop at least an hour before hitting the sack. Store them away, kick them out of bed, even out of your bedroom! See you later alligator! Easier said than done, right? But the benefits are real. Keep in mind that the blue light emitted by screens is known to stimulate your brain. Basically, your body is getting signals to STAY AWAKE! Not exactly the best way to help you fall asleep! Just as you wouldn’t drink a full cup of coffee or listen to your favourite rock band before bed, screens are a big no-no. Swap your tablet for a good book and skip texting and email answering. You can take care of that in the morning, after a restful night.
Work Out… But Not Right Before Bed
Physical activity reduces stress and tension and therefore, contributes to adequate sleep. If you are not already active, start moving! Choose a sport you love and practise it regularly. However, remember that exercising right before bed is not ideal, as it puts your body in high-energy mode. If your schedule forces you to take your spinning class at night, try to go earlier in the evening, or at least an hour before bedtime. Who knows? Your dreams might let you win a race or two.
Eating Habits That Will Help You Sleep
Coffee, as you probably know, is not exactly an effective sleeping pill. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should kiss your morning latte goodbye. However, skipping your afternoon (or night) cup of Joe is probably a wise idea. The same is true of chocolate and tea. Heavy meals right before bed and alcohol are other causes of restless nights. If you feel hungry, a light, healthy snack is the best choice. A perfect pre-sleep drink? Try a good chamomile infusion!
A Relaxing Bedtime Ritual
There isn’t a one size fits all answer when it comes to bedtime routines. You know best which strategy is a winning one for you. However, it should include a few essential elements, such as going to bed and waking up at similar times every day and dedicating the hour before to a quiet activity. For everything else, you get to choose! It could be a warm bath with a few drops of soothing essential bath oils. A nighttime beauty routine to pamper your skin. Or even a bit of Mozart! Options are endless. A comfortable mattress and a tidy room with soft colours and a cozy atmosphere promote sleep and relaxation. Psst! Don’t turn the heat up! It has been shown that it’s easier to sleep in a cool room. Lastly, when the first signs of sleepiness show up, don’t wait! Go to bed!
If All Else Fails
If you can’t fall asleep, don’t panic. Many of us think that if we stay in bed long enough, sleep will naturally come to the rescue. That is rarely the case. Usually, waiting longer will stress you out and make it even more difficult! That’s when we start counting the hours left before we have to wake up, while having this internal dialogue: “I have to sleep, I can’t sleep, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow.” Stop! Get up, get out of your bedroom and try a calm activity until you start nodding off again. Good night, sleep tight!