Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Today, we’ll talk about what we can do to make it easier to fall asleep.
As with any activity we want to make a regular habit, the key to getting good at sleep is to establish a good sleep routine, or as some call it, good sleep hygiene. This starts with getting yourself on a sleep schedule—same bedtime, same wake time every day, including weekends. Of course that won’t always be doable, but trying might help regulate your body’s clock and make it easier to fall asleep.
Some experts also recommend creating a sleep ritual—a series of activities that tell your mind and body sleep is on its way. Here are some additional ritualistic strategies that might help.
Set Tomorrow Up for Success
Many people have trouble getting to sleep because their minds are too busy thinking of things they have to do. Therefore, the first step in the sleep ritual is to set tomorrow up for success. This might begin with list-making, which can help you get organized and power down.
Anything that makes tomorrow feel like it’s already partially taken care of can soothe your mind too; preparing your lunch, picking out your outfit, loading and starting the dishwasher—these proactive tasks can help you feel more relaxed for sleep.
Power Down an Hour Before Bedtime
The next part of the ritual is tough. Many sleep experts believe social media is killing your sleep. And they’re right. When you go to bed with your phone in-hand, it’s hard to shut things down and get to sleep. We recommended going digital free within an hour of bedtime. So get your TV, social media, or online video fix earlier in the evening.
Why? The light from these devices, including some digital alarm clocks, disrupts sleep. And it’s so easy to tell ourselves we’re only going to look for 10 minutes and then discover an hour later that we’re still watching cat videos.
Dim Your Lights
After you’ve put away the phones and tablets, go around and turn off all unnecessary lights, and if possible, dim the rest. Overly bright lights can suppress melatonin production, and that’s an important hormone that helps make you sleepy. Increased darkness can trigger your body to produce it.
Take a Shower
And lastly, take a shower. Taking a shower or hot bath right before bed can be a great way to bring on sleep. When you take a hot shower, your peripheral body temperature raises. As soon as you step out, your skin starts to cool, and this change in temperature may trick your body into thinking that the transition process to sleep has already begun.
These are all small things you can do to promote sleep. Most likely, they are things you’re going to have to do at some point in the evening anyway. But if you establish a routine and create a ritual around them, it might just help you get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Tomorrow, we’ll dive deeper into the power of naps.
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