With so many things to do and not enough hours in the day, many of us may find ourselves lacking quality sleep. While we may try to power through it, sleep deprivation catches up quite quickly. It can have noticeable effects on our productivity, overall health, and appearance. Getting the required amount of sleep is arguably the most important part of our self-care routines, and this guide includes some of the best ways to ensure a good night’s rest.
One of the most influential parts of being well rested is where you’re sleeping. If your bedroom is uncomfortable you’re bound to have difficulties falling asleep. Luckily there are some simple, yet effective ways to make sure you’re set up for restful success.
The easiest way to start is by cleaning your room. Organize the things that may be out of place, and create a space that feels comfortable and tidy. Something that may be contributing to an inability to sleep is using your bedroom for stressful activities. If you can, it’s advised to work and exercise outside of your bedroom. This keeps the mind focused on winding down once you’re ready to sleep.
When it’s time for bed, it’s advised to keep your room cool and dark. A fan may be helpful, and adds the benefits of white noise. White noise and ambient music can be used to mask loud sounds that keep the brain awake. Relax Melodies is an app that allows you to create your own mix of sounds, all with adjustable volumes. You could also use a diffuser with calming essential oils. Some great options are lavender, jasmine, and rose.
ACTIVITIES TO ENCOURAGE BETTER SLEEP
It might sound counterintuitive, but you can actually get better rest by being active. A great way to wind down at the end of the day is yoga. Thoughtful movement allows us to be present in the moment and let go of lingering stressors. A great resource to start with is Yoga With Adriene. Adriene’s youtube channel has amassed a total of 8.4 million subscribers, and includes hundreds of videos with different goals in mind. I personally use Adriene’s Wind Down Yoga routine regularly, and can say it’s my favorite thus far.
Yoga leaves our body and mind in a great place to meditate. Meditation can be as short or long as you’d like, and is easily partnered with journaling. I find that my mood and thoughts are most peaceful after meditating. I suggest trying different methods or videos to find what works for you. I personally use Meditative Mind on youtube.
If yoga and meditation aren’t for you, there are also tons of podcasts with bedtime stories to encourage peaceful sleep. A few options to try are Get Sleepy, Myths and Legends, and Nothing Much Happens.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
The only way to regularly achieve a good night’s rest is by sticking to a schedule. Unfortunately the most important part is also the hardest. Going to sleep and waking up at consistent times can be difficult, but there are some healthy habits to build that will help.
You probably saw this coming, but a huge detriment to quality sleep is high screen time. Blue light has negative effects on the secretion of melatonin (the hormone that maintains our sleep cycle). Reducing the amount of time you spend on your phone throughout the day could be incredibly helpful. However, if this is not possible, it’s still worth putting your phone away 30 minutes before bed. This time can be easily occupied by reading or drawing.
Along with reducing screen time, it helps to lower the amount of caffeine you consume. Plenty of popular drinks besides coffee also contain caffeine, so it’s important to stay mindful. A great alternative that can make you sleepy is chamomile tea.
Now that you have all of the tips you need for the best night’s sleep, it’s time to decide when to actually sleep. If you consistently wake up tired despite putting in the effort to get the right amount of sleep, it may be because you’re waking up during the middle of your sleep cycle! Sleepyti.me is a bedtime calculator that suggests times to fall asleep that will align with waking up between cycles, rather than during one. All you have to do is input your desired time to wake-up, and plan to be in bed fourteen minutes before one of the recommended bedtimes.
The last tip I leave you with, is that if you can’t sleep, find something else to do! Sometimes falling asleep itself can be stressful. It helps to occupy yourself with another peaceful hobby until you feel ready to rest. I hope you find this guide helpful, and can create your own consistent routine for quality sleep.