Do you know that sleep has a big impact on your health and wellbeing?
I love my sleep but admittedly I have a very poor sleep schedule. I’m a night owl which consequently results in me absolutely detesting mornings. It is not uncommon to find me sitting up until well past midnight. It always seems like such a brilliant idea at the time, until I have to get up early in the morning.
I know that my sleeping habits are not sustainable, and I need to form new healthier habits towards sleep.
So why is sleep so important?
Everyone needs to sleep. It is an essential function which allows your body to recharge. Getting enough sleep actually helps your body to stay healthy. It is scientifically linked to reducing illness and disease.
When you have had enough sleep, you wake up feeling refreshed and alert. (When I read this fact, I knew I haven’t been getting enough sleep.) For most adults we require 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
5 tips to help in getting a good night’s sleep
1. Stick to a regular bedtime and wake time
Everyone’s will look different. If you keep a regular bedtime and wake time. Like I said before I’m a night owl, so I like to stay up late. Which was never a problem for me because I was consistently still getting my 7-9 hours of sleep each night. I ran into trouble when I needed to get up earlier for work and schooling.
I have found it works best to work out what time you need to be up in the morning and then work backwards to figure out what time you need to be going to bed. Once you have this figured out you will need to stick with it even on weekends. (Not going to lie here, I am not looking forward to this weekend. I have never been up at 6:30 on a weekend in my life!)
2. Limit caffeine intake in the hours leading up to bed
Caffeine is a stimulant. It blocks the adenosine receptor to keep you from feeling sleepy. Not only can it make it harder for you to go to sleep, but it actually affects the quality of your sleep. It actually robs you of the amount of time you might normally get of deep sleep.
It is recommended that you have your last dose of caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime. So, for me for example I have set my bedtime at 10pm so I should not have any caffeine from 4 in the afternoon.
3. Create a sleep ritual
A sleep ritual is essentially a routine you have in place before going to bed. They are activities you do to help your body and mind unwind and relax. Once you have this routine in place your body will know it is getting ready to go sleep, so it will make falling asleep easier.
Activities you might like to include in your sleep ritual could be:
- Warm bath
- Prepare your bedroom
- Listening to music which relaxes you
4. Screen Ban
Consider a “screen ban” on electronic devices in your bedroom. No phones, TV’s, tablets or computers. The transition to sleep, both the mind and body need time to unwind and relax.
Turn off the screens at least 30 minutes before going to sleep and keep them out of the bedroom so not to distract.
All screens emit artificial light. Screens on electronics have what is called blue light. And the amount of blue light coming from electronics will actually reduce the amount of the sleep hormone melatonin your body produces. This all has a flow on effect. Because once you turn off devices to go to sleep it will be harder to go to and maintain sleep.
5. Optimise your sleeping environment
Keep light and noise to a minimum in your bedroom.
Check the temperature of your bedroom. Is it too hot or too cold. The most ideal temperature for sleeping is around 18.3 degrees Celsius. Give or take a few degrees depending on each individual person.
I would love to know if there are any tips you have that works for you?
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