Earlier in our Self-Care Essentials series, we outlined a few reasons why it is so important to get a good nights rest. We thought it only fitting to provide a few tips that will help you get to sleep faster and improve your quality of sleep.
1. Develop a Routine - Life can make this a challenge but it is best if you go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time every day. It is also good to perform relaxing activities before going to bed such as reading or listening to soothing music, doing gentle stretches, or taking a warm bath.
2. Create the Right Environment - It is important that your bedroom be a space that is conducive to sleeping. The temperature should be comfortable or slightly cool and the room should be dark and quiet. Avoid light-emitting screens while in bed.
3. Regular Exercise - Getting exercise throughout the day will help you sleep better at night. However, the NIH recommends not exercising within three hours of bedtime.
4. Monitor Food & Drink - The Mayo Clinic suggest not going to bed when hungry or overly full. Also, avoid nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine before bedtime as these all have stimulative effects and will make it harder to go to sleep. Finally, avoid drinking lot's of water before going to bed as you will likely have to visit the bathroom several times during the night, interrupting your sleep.
5. Manage Stress - Stress can make it difficult to go to sleep, keeping our mind active and our body tense. Try writing down the items that are causing you stress with the intention of setting them aside until the next day. Developing other habits such as yoga, journaling, or meditation to help manage stress on an ongoing basis.
6. Use Aromatherapy - The sense of smell can be a powerful tool in helping you get to sleep. Whether you use incense or candles, linen spray, or even a scented eye pillow, incorporating aromatherapy into your evening routine can facilitate a good nights rest.
We're not sure that we can all return to sleeping like a baby again, but we hope these habits assist you in getting a good nights rest. As always, if you are having ongoing issues with lack of sleep, please do consult a doctor.