We all know, sleep is important for our overall health and well-being but it’s often the easiest thing we sacrifice when life gets crazy.
These tips are simple but I know you’re going to resist implementing them, just like I did. We say sleep is important but these tips can feel like you’re sacrificing the simplicity and flexibility of your lifestyle.
Before we dive in, ask yourself this: am I willing to make a few sacrifices to wake up feeling refreshed? If the answer is yes, keep reading.
Get those electronics OUT of your bedroom
When I first started working on better sleep, my naturopath suggested no screens two hours before bed and I was shocked. Two hours? What does she want me to do with my night? Twiddle my thumbs? I struggled with this suggestion. As someone self-employed, I could easily be on my laptop till 10 PM and then unwind with some Netflix on my tablet in bed.
But kicking the screen habit helped me unwind. Tablets, cell phones, and laptops can keep your brain wired, making it hard to truly wind down. The light from these devices can also suppress your natural production of melatonin.
Two hours might be a bit much so start by slowly cutting back on screen time by a half-hour at bedtime to find the time that works for you.
While we’re at it, if you use your phone as your alarm clock, do yourself a favour and get a digital clock for your bedside table and get that phone out of your room.
Do you want the negative effects of grabbing your phone and checking your email first thing? That’s a whole other topic but keep your mind and morning fresh by kicking this habit now.
Create a consistent bedtime routine
A bedtime routine sounds daunting but it doesn’t matter what the routine is, it matters that you do it consistently to create that bedtime habit for your brain.
For me, it looks like putting on my pj’s, washing my face, brushing my teeth, taking my pup out for a pee and hopping into bed with my book. A few small actions consistently will calm your body.
And when it comes to this routine, it’s important to stick to a strict bedtime. It’s hard for your body to get accustomed to a healthy sleep routine if you’re constantly going to bed at different times.
Bedtime brain dump
I keep a notebook beside my bed for my bedtime brain dump. Before I go to sleep, I take a few minutes to write out all the tabs open in my brain. I’m talking about the sticky notes we keep in our brain to remind us of things – like not to forget your lunch in the fridge or that doctor’s appointment at 4 pm on Friday.
Get it out of your head and in that notebook for better sleep.
Or maybe you wake up in the middle of the night from a dream or with an idea you don’t want to forget – by having a notepad close you can quickly write it down and go back to sleep instead of it floating around in your head all night.
Supplement as needed
I struggle to turn my brain off to unwind in the evening so I started supplementing magnesium into my evening routine to help relax my body for a deeper sleep. There are many natural options to trigger better sleep. Talk to your doctor about what might work best for you.
Jessica Clerke, BPR, is the Digital Editor of OptiMYz. She is a coach, podcaster and digital marketer with a passion for delicious food and all things wellness.
Podcast: Self(ish) Confidence
Looking for more sleep tips? Check out these healthy sleep habits from Sleep Education.
Discover More: Check out this article on how good sleep might be the key to great sex.