You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important and a huge indicator of how we feel the next day. But with a to-do list a million miles long and all the other distractions of life, falling asleep (and staying asleep) is not always easy.
Here are a few simple tricks that can help.
Caffeine isn’t just found in your morning cup of Joe. It is widely used in other food and beverages such as soda, chocolate, tea, energy drinks, and energy bars.
Although everyone reacts to caffeine differently, if you are having trouble sleeping, it is recommended that you refrain from it for at least 6-8 hours prior to going to bed. Instead of that mid-afternoon cup of coffee, try drinking some herbal tea or lemon water.
Just like a newborn baby that has their days and nights confused, lack of, or irregular exposure to light can disrupt your body’s internal clock. Try taking a walk outside over the lunch hour or sit by a window with the shades open as much as possible during the day. Not only can this have a positive effect on your level of alertness and productivity during the day, but it also is shown to improve overall mood and health.
On the other hand, it has been shown that darkness boosts production of melatonin, an essential hormone for sleep. You can start dimming the lights around your home an hour or two before bed, and invest in some blackout curtains for the bedroom so there isn’t light coming in from outside when you’re trying to sleep.
Inhale for 4 seconds, through your nose, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds from your mouth. Easy peasy.
The technique, developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, can give organs and tissues a much-needed oxygen boost and promote relaxation. It is recommended to start with 2-4 repetitions at first, gradually working your way up to 8.
Your body naturally warms up when you get up, and cools down when you lie down. So, if the room you’re sleeping in is too warm, your body may have a harder time cooling down, and thus, you may have a more difficult time falling asleep. While individual preferences can vary, the recommended temperature to keep your room at during the night is between 60-67°F.
Studies have also shown that increasing your body temperature 1-2 hours before bed can also improve the quality of sleep. This is because when your body temperature cools back down, it sends a signal to your brain to go to sleep.
Exercise is one of those things that is good for a million different reasons. Specific to sleep, exercise boosts the production of serotonin in the brain and decreases levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). The combination of those two things can drastically improve both the quality and duration of sleep.
However, exercise also drastically increases your heart rate, so if you’re having trouble sleeping, make sure you exercise earlier in the day.
This method uses essential oils, which are shown to be effective in improving sleep quality. The scents that have been shown to improve sleep the most are lavender, peppermint and damask rose.
An essential oil diffuser is a good way to fill your room with relaxing scents that encourage sleep (and smell amazing)!
Not only do electronic devices emit blue light, which has been found to suppress melatonin, but using these devices also keeps your mind active and engaged. If you absolutely must finish something on your laptop, try getting blue light blocking glasses. These ones from Amazon are great!
Whether or not CBD can help with sleep really depends on why you’re not sleeping. If you are doing a HIIT workout at 11pm, taking CBD isn’t going to miraculously knock you out.
However, if you are struggling with sleep because of a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression, or a physical condition such as chronic pain or restless leg syndrome, CBD may drastically help by treating the cause of the sleeplessness.
Although there are a number of ways to take CBD, our favorite way is this oil by GleeCBD. Paired with some essential oils in the diffuser, and we’re already getting sleepy.
It’s no wonder we read bedtime stories to kids before bed! Reading a book before bed can help promote relaxation and is a great activity to help you wind down at the end of a long day. A physical book or magazine is best, as electronics emit blue light, which can inhibit sleep.
Not only is having a gratitude journal good for overall mental health, but both journaling and thinking happy thoughts can improve quality of sleep. Writing down the positive events that happened that day can create a state of gratitude and happiness, and take your mind off stressful events, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Alternatively, if you’ve had a particularly bad day or are feeling overwhelmed, making a “to-do” list has been shown to reduce bedtime worry and stress and improve sleep quality.
Sleep is a crucial part of our lives and helps us stay healthy and happy. Whether it’s one of the techniques listed above or something entirely different, find something that works for you and stick with it!