When you’re busier than ever, how can you get a good night’s sleep?
We all know that sleep is good for you, but really, how important is sleep?
When you’ve got a thousand emails to answer, three papers due in a week, sports practices, and a part time job, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. So who has time for sleep?!
In reality though, without a good night’s rest of at least 8 hours, our minds tend to go foggy, we may become aggravated easier and the quality of our work may begin to slip. Consistent beauty sleep is vital for a sharp mind, a better mood, efficiency and productivity (bonus: the bags underneath our eyes will disappear!). But how can you fall asleep fast AND stay asleep throughout the night when you’re head’s racing with “what-if” scenarios, to-do lists, don’t-forget memos, worries and more?
Here are my top tips to sleep like a baby:
We all know that the light from our laptop screens and iPhones make it harder for us to fall asleep because it stimulates our brains, but in reality, it takes a lot of annoying willpower to turn off the electronics one hour before bed when all you want to do after a long day is watch Netflix and mindlessly scroll through Instagram. If it’s too difficult for you to make it a habit of avoiding technology at night, download Flux. Flux is a feature that removes blue light from your screen display and adapts to the time of day. This makes staring at your screen much easier on the eyes and reduce stimulation that will keep you awake longer.
2. Avoid Caffeine after 5PM
Cut out the coffee, tea, chocolate and soda pop in the evenings at all costs. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and increases your alertness. The compound will stay active in your bloodstream for 4 to 6 hours which will make it that much harder to fall asleep. So steer clear of the stuff!
3. Have a Cup of Chamomile Tea
Unlike caffeine, chamomile soothes the nervous system. Usually an hour before I’m ready to hit the lights out, I’ll calm my mind and body with a nice hot cup of herbal sleepy time tea.
4. Keep the Lights Low
Our brains our wired to produce a hormone called melatonin when the sun goes down and darkness occurs. As melatonin levels rise in the blood stream, we begin to feel more drowsy. Approximately 12 hours later, these levels drop as daylight wakes us up. If you’re having trouble initiating that sleepy feeling, make sure to keep the lighting in your room to a minimum. I always like to light a soy candle in the evening and turn everything off except my bedroom twinkle lights. Hello heavenly Tumblr bedroom atmosphere!
5. Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode While You Sleep
You won’t be able to get an uninterrupted good quality sleep if your phone’s lighting up throughout the night with incoming texts and emails. The messages will still be there in the morning and whoever’s reaching out to you at 2AM on a Tuesday night can wait! You’ve got a hot date with beauty rest and they should respect that. Bonus: you’ll also be reducing your exposure to the electromagnetic radiation cellphones emit which are thought to be harmful to the quality of REM sleep–not to mention your health overall.
Try incorporating these tips into your daily night time routine and establish a regular sleeping pattern or schedule. I promise having better quality sleep will not waste your time and cause you to lose your productivity. In fact it will do quite the opposite! After all, how can you perform or take on the activities of each day to the best of your ability if you’re constantly yawning or feeling like a total zombie? Good quality sleep will only leave you feeling energized, focused and more motivated than ever to reach your goals and conquer the challenges of each day. Now go catch some zzzz’s…