I’m going to tell you a secret about those people who just seem to have it all figured out. They get a good night of quality sleep every single night. It’s true! People who get enough sleep are successful, focused and happy.
Now, I don’t think I’m unsuccessful by any stretch of the imagination, but I definitely struggle with the infamous brain fog and irritability. If you are anything like me and struggle with switching off and falling asleep, this blog post is for you.
Given what we know about sleep, there are a number of things we can do (or not do) to improve our sleeping habits. Below you’ll see a quick list I’ve pulled together. It’s full of handy dandy tips that you can use to quiet your mind before bed, ensuring you can get the 7 to 9 hours your body and mind need.
Things you can start doing:
- Prepare for tomorrow by pre-writing tomorrows to-do list today.
- Keep hydrated by making sure you have a water bottle by your bed side ready to go when you’re dying of thirst at 2:00am.
- Drink a tea and reflect on only the positives in your day. I like my tea white with one, but I read somewhere that chamomile is also great for sleep!
- Spend time doing something you love such as stretching out your body on your yoga mat, listening to your favourite music or podcast, applying a face mask or drawing.
- If you’re into reading, give it a red hot go for 15+ minutes. I’m currently loving The GaryVee Audio Experience by Gary Vee and The Health Code by Sarah and Kurt. Avoid watching or reading something that is cognitively taxing.
- Gradually set earlier bedtimes when attempting to adjust your sleep cycle.
- Find an accountability buddy who can help keep you accountable for going to sleep at a certain time each night.
- Expose yourself to bright light (preferably natural light) in the morning to help wake up your senses.
Things you can stop doing:
- Using Nicotine. That stuff is a stimulant! Put simply, it’ll keep you awake.
- Most of us love the taste of coffee, but it’s important to try and leave it to the morning only! Like nicotine, caffeine is also a stimulant.
- Turn the bright lights down or completely off before going to bed.
- Limit your use of electronic devices, such as your TV, computer, phone, etc. before bed. These bad boys emit blue light, which inhibits the secretion of melatonin, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
- While using alcohol to fall asleep may help you calm down, it’ll be harder to stay asleep, as alcohol can interfere with your natural sleep cycle.
- Try eating dinner or your final meal 3+ hours before pulling up the doona. No one likes rolling around the bed while your body is still digesting!
- Although exercise will make you feel better throughout the day, engaging in rigorous exercise before bed will increase your heart rate and get unwanted adrenaline going.
So, they are my tips! I’d love to hear about your secrets to successful sleep, so leave a comment below! Also, if you have any more podcast suggestions, please feel free to tag all those lovely creators below! And hey, I promise that your best self is there – it might just be hidden underneath a layer of sleep deprivation!