We all love to sleep.
More importantly, we all need to sleep.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a night owl or early bird — when it comes to waking up in the morning, almost all of us would choose to hit that snooze button to squeeze in a little extra shuteye, and that’s probably because we’re not getting enough of it.
Getting a good night’s sleep has been proven to have positive effects on your physical and mental health, and although falling asleep may come naturally to most people, many of us struggle with falling asleep daily.
In fact, it’s estimated that one in four women in the United States
If this is you, here are some steps you can take to improve your chances of sleeping like a baby:
1. Wake Up Gently
Some people can sleep for more than 7 hours a day and still feel exhausted in the morning, while others are able to sleep for less than 5 hours and wake up feeling energized and ready to take on the day.
Although the number of hours you spend sleeping is important, what’s not talked about as much is the importance of how you wake up in the morning.
For example, if you wake up to loud alarms and blinding lights from your phone, you’re more likely to get out of bed feeling disoriented and exhausted as a result of forcing your body to wake up while it’s in deep sleep.
Each night, your body undergoes multiple cycles of light and deep sleep until you wake up.
Deep sleep is when your body is able to rest and start recharging, which is why you should always avoid waking up from this stage of sleep as much as possible.
This means that instead of using a loud, jarring alarm to wake you up each morning, try using a more gentle, gradual approach to rising, which in turn can lower your resistance to getting out of bed.
Waking up to the gradual rise of the morning sun is one of the best ways to gently pull your body out of deep sleep, making alarm clocks that simulate the sunrise like this one from Philips a great alternative, especially if you don’t have an east-facing window or live in places where sunlight comes out much later in the day.
2. Keep Devices Out Of The Bedroom
It should go without saying that using any type of electronic device before bed can have a profound effect on the overall quality of your sleep.
A team from Harvard Medical School compared reading paper books and light-emitting e-readers before sleep and found that subjects who used their e-readers before sleep ended up taking longer to fall asleep, had less deep sleep, and were more tired the next day.
A quick fix to this problem: Keep your room as dark as possible by storing all your devices that are capable of emitting light in a separate room since the light can disrupt your body’s ability to produce melatonin, which it uses to regulate its sleep cycle.
3. Cut Down On Naps
Most people feel refreshed after a nap that lasts about 20 minutes or so, but waking up from a sleep that’s longer than that can lead to a feeling of grogginess and exhaustion, mostly because you end up waking from
This throws your biological clock out of whack, throwing
Your body has its own biological clock that tells itself when it’s time to sleep and when to wake up, which is why having a consistent sleep schedule can help ‘train’ it to adapt to your routine.
This’ll make it easier for you to fall asleep when your bedtime nears.
4. Set Up A Sleep Schedule
Going to sleep and waking up at inconsistent hours daily can also complicate your body’s ability to regulate its biological clock and sleep cycle.
If you’re struggling with irregular sleeping patterns, here are some simple tips to help you get a consistent sleep schedule going:
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
- Cut down on caffeine towards the evening.
- Avoid heavy dinners, especially processed meals that are high in sugar, fat, and protein.
The trick to this step is to be consistent enough until your body is able to adapt to the sleep-wake rhythm you want to achieve.
5. Give Aromatherapy A Go
Aromatherapy is one of the oldest forms of holistic healing that’s still being used to this day.
Typically, essential oils and incense sticks are used to promote positive physical, mental, and even spiritual well-being, and can be used to lessen feelings of anxiety and stress
As a rule of thumb, scents like lavender or chamomile are great for promoting relaxation and sleep, while scents like mint, lemon, and rosemary are used to promote focus and concentration.
6. Avoid Overstimulating Your Body Before Bed
Exercising on a regular basis can have enormous benefits to your mind and body, but exercising close to bedtime could get in the way of you getting enough shut-eye.
Some people stand by the benefits of squeezing in a quick work before bed, but depending on the type of exercise you’re doing, you could run the risk of overstimulating your body and end up feeling restless once you’re in bed.
So if your work out gives you energy and gets you hyped up, try sticking to the three-hour rule: Make sure you have a 3-hour window between the end of your work out and the time you head to bed so that your body has enough time to wind down and recover.
7. Reduce Clutter In Your Bedroom
Your surroundings play a huge role in determining how much high-quality sleep you get.
A study among subjects who consider themselves hoarders found that those who sleep in cramped or disorganized rooms were more likely to develop sleeping disorders.
This result was further confirmed in the same study when they found that subjects who don’t have a hoarding disorder had trouble falling asleep in the presence of clutter.
In short, the more disorganized the room is, the less likely it is for your body to rest well.
If decluttering has you mystified and you don’t know where to start, know this: Decluttering doesn’t always have to involve a complete purge of your belongings. It could simply involve clearing up your space so that you have more of it.
8. Make Your Bedroom Inviting
Apart from tidying up your bedroom and keeping it free of devices, there are other ways to make your bedroom the soothing, calming space you want it to be for sleep.
Playing with colours, textures and soft furnishings like cushions, duvets, blankets, bed skirts, curtains and fabric headboards are simple and affordable ways to give your bedroom the look that you’ve been dreaming of.