Too often, we underestimate the power and importance of healthy sleep habits. In the wellness community, it’s easy to place most of our focus on diet and exercise—but sleep is actually just as important! When we don’t get quality sleep, we risk decreased immune health, decreased brain function, and decreased energy.
Sleep is also directly connected to your weight loss and fitness goals. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’ll experience insufficient muscle recovery and increased cortisol levels (the hormones that cause stress and weight retention).
And of course, on a practical level, there’s nothing worse than feeling tired all the time! You get irritable. You get moody. You feel unmotivated and numb. You’re not able to invest the energy that you should into your biggest goals and priorities...because you don’t have the energy!
So, if you’re ready to get back your health and your energy, here are seven tips for getting a great night of sleep.
SET A ROUTINE
Like it or not, our bodies run on an internal clock—called the circadian rhythm. This means that, to feel our best, our bodies want to go to sleep and wake up at similar times every day. That’s why it can be so difficult to adjust to a new time zone when you’re traveling. So, to sleep better, start going to bed at a regular time every night.
CALM YOUR MIND
Do you ever feel like your racing thoughts keep you up at night? It might be time to introduce a new habit or two. Try reading a novel, writing in your journal, or meditating for a few minutes before going to bed. This will help to calm your thoughts and get your mind ready for sleep.
Let’s be honest—it’s hard to get to sleep (and stay asleep) if you’re uncomfortable. If you’re having trouble sleeping, ask yourself if there’s any way to make your sleeping space more comfortable. Maybe you need a white noise machine (or a simple fan), an upgraded pillow, an eye mask, ear plugs, or an essential oil diffuser. Whatever you need to do, make your bedroom a cozy, quiet place to sleep.
MAKE SPACE FOR RELAXING
As humans, we need some time to transition from full speed to sleep mode. If you’re trying to fall asleep without giving yourself space to unwind and relax, you may be having trouble. Spend at least fifteen minutes before bed decompressing from the day—with a cup of tea, an evening skincare routine, or a short yoga flow.
QUIT THE CAFFEINE
We all love our coffee, but it might be getting in the way of your sleep habits. Too much caffeine can keep you from falling asleep or cause you to wake up restless in the middle of the night. Try switching to tea, soda water, or decaf coffee later in the day to protect your sleep.
TAKE YOUR SUPPLEMENTS
Still not sleeping well? You may need a little extra help to get the rest you need. If you don’t want to take commercial sleeping pills, try taking magnesium (which decreases cortisol and relaxes muscles) or melatonin (which promotes restful sleep). You could also sip on an herbal tea blend that promotes sleep and relaxation.
CUT THE ELECTRONICS
As fun as it is to unwind by watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram, the blue light from your favorite tech might be messing with your circadian rhythm and keeping you from getting a good night of sleep. And, on an emotional level, binging on TV and social media content might not put you in the best state of mind for restful sleep. So, try to create a buffer between your media time and your sleep time.
Are you ready to feel more rested and alive when you wake up in the morning? With these simple tips, you’re prepared to get quality sleep every single night.