HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY SLEEPING HABITS?
Have you been wondering, “How can I improve my sleeping habits?”
Are you looking at your daily routine and finding that it just doesn’t work to promote a full night of deep rest?
If so, it’s time to change things up!
In this post, we’re going to look at a few simple actions you can take that will change your sleep for the better.
We’ll answer your question, “How can I improve my sleeping habits?” and give you practical, actionable steps that are surprisingly easy to implement but will maximize your potential for truly restful sleep every night.
How Can I Improve My Sleeping Habits? Try:
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every night. And I mean the EXACT same time! Set an alarm to go off every day of the week, including the weekends, and force yourself to get to bed on-schedule even on weekend nights.
Why? Our bodies are designed to form patterns and habits, and they tend to adapt to specific sleep/wake schedules. If you’re constantly changing up your schedule, your body has no way to adapt. Once it has settled into the habit, however, the occasional deviation won’t throw off the sleeping patterns. That’s why it’s so important to sleep and wake up at the exact same time every day for 12-16 weeks, until your body has developed a regular sleep schedule. After you’ve locked it in, you can occasionally stay up late or sleep in on the weekend with no trouble.
- Winding down long before you actually get in bed. Think about it: there’s no way you can “flip a switch” and just shut off the stress or anxieties that you’ve been wrestling with all day long the moment you climb into bed. That’s just not how the brain works!
Really, the only way to stop stress and anxiety from impacting your sleep is to eliminate it before you get to sleep. To do that, you need to relax for at least 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Read a book, listen to calming music, have a cup of chamomile tea, and keep the house quiet and the lights dim. Spend that time relaxing, and you’ll be in a much more peaceful and restful state when it comes time to get in bed.
- Listen to a book, music, or podcast to fall asleep. This is an excellent way to occupy your brain and keep out unwanted stressful or anxious thoughts when trying to drift off. However, if you listen to a book or podcast that is too engaging or music that is too upbeat, it will keep your mind active and make sleep difficult.
Consider listening to a podcast episode you already heard, or an audiobook you’re already familiar with. If you’re going to listen to music, make it sleep music, meditation music, sounds of nature, or a relaxing guitar or piano playlist. The less your brain has to engage with whatever you’re listening to, the easier it will be to drift off to sleep.
- Follow your bedtime routine. Did you know that simple activities like brushing your teeth, removing your make-up, washing your face, and changing into your pajamas actually sends signals to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep?
Your brain develops a sort of “sense memory” that is activated when you go through familiar motions or routines. Simple things like the taste of toothpaste or mouthwash, the sensation of your toothbrush on your teeth, even the feel of your cozy pajamas can all help your brain to prepare for sleep. That’s why it’s so important that you follow the same bedtime routine every night.
- Snack smart before bed. The last thing you want to do before sleep is eat a heavy meal that will keep your digestive system working for hours. That’s guaranteed to keep you awake for hours, or wake you up throughout the night.
However, a smart snack can be quite the useful addition to your pre-sleep routine. Tart cherry juice, walnuts, chamomile, caffeine-free green tea, oatmeal, and cereal can all help you to fall asleep faster because they release melatonin, the all-critical sleep hormone. Just make sure to have small quantities of these sleep snacks!
- Meditate. Meditation is one of the most effective stress-busting, relaxation-inducing activities you can include in your night. Not only will it help to calm your mind after an intense day of work, but it can help you process, control, and reduce stressors and anxieties.
Spend just 10-15 minutes meditating every evening before you get into bed, or try meditating with the lights off. You may just find that it will help you fall asleep more quickly and easily!