It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3… 4, 5
Between having a career, a vibrant social life, and making it to the gym every once in a while, life can get downright exhausting. Sadly, tiredness doesn’t always make for a good night’s sleep. In fact, many people report feeling more tired in the morning than when they went to bed. For many of us this is a product of rehashing the previous day and allowing our minds to race.
Whatever the cause, we can all agree that getting more quality sleep wouldn’t be a bad thing. Luckily, we found a few ways to remedy those seamlessly sleepless nights, and they are even backed by science!
Your Bed Is ONLY For Sleep & Sex
Yes, it can be tempting to finish a few emails from under the covers before going to bed… but don’t. Sleep experts agree that your bed should be for two things and two things only: sleep and sex. Whether you know it or not, your brain is creating associations every time you are in your bed. If one of the main things you do in your bed is binge-watch Netflix or get a little extra work done, your brain will view your bed as a place for work or passive entertainment. Similarly, if you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep, experts suggest getting out of bed and doing something that is an “awake” activity, like reading a book or solving a quick puzzle. Once you have completed the activity and feel drowsy again you can return to your bed. This allows your brain to correctly associate your bed with sleep.
It can be hard to unplug, and it is a LOT easier said than done, but turning off those screens is extremely important when it comes to quality of sleep. HERE The blue light emitted from your phone, laptop, tablet, and television suppress melatonin production, a very vital sleep-inducing hormone. If you are addicted to technology (no shame, there are plenty of us who are), slowly ween yourself off of technology before bed. Start with ten minutes before bedtime and then work your way up. Ideally, your eyes should be screen-free for an hour before you plan on going to sleep.
Unwind With Aromatherapy
This isn’t just some hippie-dippie suggestion: it is backed by science. Most experts suggest scenting your bedroom and sheets with lavender. Not only does the herb smell lovely, but lavender’s aroma can help relax nerves, lower blood pressure, and helps with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. You can use lavender in an oil diffuser, as a scented candle, or, you can go all out and take a soothing lavender bath.
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Practice Progressive Relaxation
The National Sleep Foundation recommends progressive relaxation as a tool for those who suffer from insomnia. While in bed, begin to tense and relax your muscles starting from the bottom of your body up. Scrunch up your toes as hard as you can, squeezing tightly, and then relax. Keep moving up with the feet, ankles, calves, all the way up to your head. You can also go head down if you prefer. Your muscles should be tense for at least five seconds and then relaxed for thirty. You can repeat each section of your body up to three times before moving onto the next section to really get relaxed.
Take A Warm Shower & Keep Your Room Cool
In order for your body to prepare for sleep, it needs to be at a cooler temperature. In order to help speed up the process of your body cooling down, take a hot shower or bath before bedtime. Entering a cool room after the hot shower will help slow down your metabolism, and thus lower your body temperature. Be sure to wear clothing that will keep you comfortable, but not too warm and snuggly.