Are you waking up in the mornings feeling re-engernized and ready to hit the day with a spring in your step?
If not…this email is for you– it is time to look at your sleep “hygiene”. Sleep hygiene is a way of saying how your sleep environment is set up. This can include how your room is set up but also what pre bed habits you build to promote a better sleep. We know our sleep environment has a big impact on us, so therefore it’s important to make sure yours is optimized for you.
6 Ways to Improve your Sleep
1) Your body needs dark in order to produce the melatonin (more on that later) that induces sleep, so the darker the environment, the better. Black out blinds, a sleep mask or both could change your life.
2) If you go to bed with a headful of overwhelming stress, this is a common place to lie and ponder/ worry. One thing you can try that has helped many people is write down all of your thoughts before bed as a way to do a “mind clear”. This will give you a to do list for the next day and allows you to clear your thoughts before bed.
3) The wrong room temperature is disruptive, keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees. Many people keep their homes and bedrooms too warm. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep. Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may be the most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop that occurs during sleep.
4) Uncomfortable mattresses, pillows, or bedding can all have an impact. Find what you feel comfortable and don’t be afraid to experiment. Most reputable bedding companies and products are starting to offer money back guarantees if you are not satisfied with their products.
5) Keeping a sleep log for a few weeks an help to identify disruptive sleeping patterns. Caffeine and alcohol are to major culprits to affecting sleep. People believe alcohol may help them get to sleep easier but the quality of sleep will be poor. Limiting caffeine to the AM is another way to ensure you are creating better habits for sleep
6) Put your phone away. Not only does the light affect the ability to sleep but it also stimulates the brain and thought processes during a time we need to be unwinding. Avoid watching TV or using your computer at night– or at least about an hour or so before going to bed– as these technologies can have a significantly detrimental impact on your sleep. TV and computer screens emit blue light; nearly identical to the light you’re exposed to outdoors during the day. This tricks your brain thinking it’s still daytime, thereby shutting down melatonin secretion.
Melatonin– An All Natural Sleep Aid
While sleeping pills will likely do more harm than good, you could consider taking a melatonin supplement, which will help boost sleepiness. Melatonin is a completely natural substance, made by your body, and has many health benefits in addition to sleep. In scientific studies, melatonin has been shown to increase sleepiness, help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep, decrease restlessness, and reverse daytime fatigue.