Did you know that, according to the Sleep Foundation, almost half of Americans say they feel sleepy during the day between three & seven days per week?
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This is a problem.
Coming up short on the number of hours of quality sleep you get on a regular basis can actually have some long-term effects that are pretty scary.
Lack of sleep has been linked to:
Weight gain & obesity
Depression & Anxiety
Whew! Scary right?
The good news is, there is a lot you can do to give yourself the best chance at a good night’s rest night after night.
Disclaimer - I am not a doctor. If you’re struggling with sleep issues and cannot seem to resolve them, please check in with your doctor so they can help!
What can you do on your own?
Like wellness in general, there is no one size fits all approach to getting consistent quality sleep.
However, I recommend trying one or two of the tips I list below and cultivating what works for you over time.
Cut the Cord
Practically everything is wireless these days, but in a nutshell, I want you to go screen-free for a minimum of 30 minutes before your head hits the pillow.
The blue light that is emitted from devices tells your brain that it is daytime and that it is not time to sleep, no matter how tired you are.
Before you tell me about blue light-blocking glasses and settings on your device, hear me out.
I believe being on a screen still signals to your brain that it needs to be awake.
You are on screens off and on all day long, so why should your brain treat bedtime screens as any different?
Oh, and if you have a TV in the bedroom, I challenge you to get it out of there.
Sleep and Sex, that’s it
When you walk into your bedroom the environment should tell your brain there are only 2 options here, sleep and/or sex.
If you use your bedroom as a place for laundry to fold, papers to file, stuff to put away, a quick catch-all when company is coming over, work out equipment, stuff to donate, etc., this signals to your brain that it needs to be awake to get this stuff taken care of.
I know this is a tough one if you live in a small space or you have not taken the time to organize all the stuff a home accumulates.
When the pandemic hit, we had to set up a home office space for my husband where he could close the door for all the phone calls and zoom meetings.
It ended up being our bedroom because we simply had no other space except the garage and that was not logistically feasible.
So I get that it is a struggle keeping the bedroom a two-option space.
Is this ideal? Absolutely not.
I only tell you this because I want to remind you to do the best you can and incorporate tips that have the ability to work for you.
The second the space opens up, it is one of my goals to move his office.
Nonetheless, we still work at keeping our bedroom clutter-free to keep the stress minimal.
Honor Your Senses with Cool Temps & Darkness
Let’s talk about the temperature of your bedroom.
People are all over the map on this one either running too hot or too cold when they sleep.
As someone who loves to pile on the layers and crank up the heat, it is hard for me to keep our bedroom cool, but because I understand the benefits I am all in.
According to sleepadvisor.org, “as nighttime approaches, our body temperature naturally drops, signaling that it is time to slow down and get some rest. By keeping your bedroom cooler, you are reinforcing your body’s natural instinct to sleep.”
Another nighttime tip is keeping your bedroom dark while sleeping.
While this tip seems pretty straightforward, it is common to have less-than-ideal window coverings to achieve this.
If it is not in your budget to replace window coverings consider using a sleep mask to block out additional light.
Also, consider white, brown, pink, or violet (I’m sure I’m missing some here) noise to help you sleep.
A while ago we added a small fan to our bedroom for some white noise to block out neighborhood sounds and hopefully my husband’s snoring.
While it helped, it was not 100% effective.
Then I added in pink noise and boom, we have a winner!
It was just what I needed to fall asleep easily and stay asleep even when he snores. Whew!
We also recently added a cool-mist humidifier to our bedroom and really love the difference it makes. Humidifiers can reduce virus transmission, ease snoring, lessen allergy symptoms and hydrate your skin. To see the one we use and love, click here.
Make It A Routine
Habits and routines are little wellness gifts we give ourselves.
When you create a bedtime routine, it signals your brain to start shutting down.
A bedtime routine, and the habits that come with it, also removes the chore of making choices about what to do next because you simply rinse and repeat night after night.
Here are some ideas of what to include in a wind-down routine:
Wash your face & brush your teeth
Gentle relaxing stretches/yoga
Read a book (if its an e-book, make sure to turn it off 30 minutes at minimum before your head hits the pillow)
Take a warm bath or a shower to relax tight muscles.
These are just some of my top recommendations for getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis.
If this is something where you need more support, let’s jump on a free call so we can chat about how I can help you get better sleep and reach those goals you are longing for.
Book your free call here.
Until we connect again, I wish you peace + wellness.