How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? Do you feel like staying under the covers for another 10 minutes, an hour, or perhaps the whole day? If you’re like most, you might not be getting enough sleep every night. And maybe the entire family is missing out on the benefits of what a good night’s sleep can do for your body.
Living with a constant feeling of chronic exhaustion is not fun at all. Eventually you simply must find ways to get more rest or your body will become depleted and ill. It’s best to address the problem before your body forces you into bed. And there are many other reasons to aim for adequate sleep. Sleep can do the following for your health:
- Reduce inflammation
- Ward off cancer
- Improve memory
- Make you smarter
- Help you remain alert
And those are just a few of the health benefits of good sleep. Are you ready to snooze more peacefully and longer at night? Try some of these tips so you can get a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
1. Purge your stress at the doorstep. Does your mind tend to whirl even after you’re home for the day? Develop a conscious way to destress when you arrive home each day. This might mean putting away your work materials or leaving them in the car, taking a few moments to unwind before you jump into household activities, or going for a walk in the evening. Journaling before bedtime can also help you to purge what’s on your mind so you have a more relaxed sleep. Create an active system to track your To Do’s and free up your mind before you lay down.
2. Turn your bedroom into a sanctuary. Make your bedroom an organized and quiet place that helps you to feel calm upon entering it. Regard your bedroom as a retreat from the stress of the day. Minimize the amount of electronics and distractions in your bedroom. This means getting rid of the big screen and all of the other objects that detract from our ability to sleep peacefully.
3. Make your room as dark as possible. When it’s time to hit the hay, there should be no light to be found. This is the best condition for sleeping. Our bodies are designed to “hibernate” when it’s dark. This goes for everyone in the family. It might take a few days or weeks to get used to, but the change in quality of sleep will be noticeable for everyone.
Tip: Consider investing in “blackout” curtains for the bedrooms in your home.
4. Exercise earlier rather than later. Exercising during the day releases stress hormones to help you feel more relaxed. Unlike what you might believe, exercising close to bedtime won’t “wear you out.” Ever notice that you have a boost of energy and are more alert after a work-out. On the days you exercise, get in the habit of doing it well ahead of bedtime. This goes for yoga too. The energy you receive from an earlier workout will actually work to your advantage. Your body will be relaxed, calm, and ready for a restful night of sleep.
5. Develop a bedtime routine. Remember when your kids were infants (and maybe they still are) and you were training them to sleep through the night? You probably realized that they needed a bedtime routine to get in the habit of going to bed and staying asleep. Well, routines are not just for kids. Make your own bedtime routine by getting in the habit of going to bed at a certain time. Setting your body into this routine will let your body naturally start to expect sleep at a certain time each day, and before you know it you’ll be sleeping peacefully every night. Also, consider incorporating soothing activities into your bedtime routine like a warm cup of caffeine-free tea, a warm shower, reading, or journaling.
Learning to sleep peacefully is not an overnight process, but once you’re able to adopt some of these habits mentioned above you’ll experience a great improvement in the quality of your sleep and your overall quality of life. Once you’ve learned to rest well at night, you’ll experience a huge improvement in your quality of life.
Latest posts by Alicia S. Hyatte, MSW, LCSW, CIHC (see all)
- Healthy Holiday Gift Guide: Ideas for a Healthy Kitchen - 11/28/2017
- Gratitude is a Key Ingredient for Good Health - 11/22/2017
- How to Embrace Minimalism to Lower Stress This Holiday Season - 11/18/2017