In crazy times like this, it is very easy to fall out of a healthy and normal sleep pattern. However, maintaining good sleep hygiene is super important for living a happy and healthy lifestyle. In fact, getting a good night’s sleep improves your immune system, a key component of optimal health, especially in our current environment. While I am certainly not a scientist or doctor, I have always been interested in understanding sleep. My junior year of college, I took a course about the biological psychology of sleep and circadian rhythms. I learned the essence of what sleep is, how it affects us and how to improve it. (Let me know if you’re interested in hearing more about this because I could talk all day about sleep tips, tricks and hacks!) Here are some quick and easy reminders and recommendations that are backed by doctors that are proven to help naturally improve your sleep:
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time on both weekdays and weekends.
- Avoid naps: Napping does not make up for lost sleep during the night. It disrupts your circadian rhythm and will set you back. Although, if a nap is REALLY needed, stick to 20-30 minutes. This can improve mood and alertness more so than napping for an extended period of time.
- The bed is only for sleep: bed should only be associated with sleep, not work or watching tv. This will make falling asleep easier at night as your brain will not be confused as to what it’s supposed to do in this location.
- Limit caffeine intake: Too much caffeine or drinking caffeine too late in the day will alter sleep.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercise promotes healthy sleep, although if possible, try to exercise before 2 pm. Exercising later in the day increases endorphins, which may make falling asleep difficult.
- Have a quiet and comfortable bedroom: Creating a cool and comfortable sleep environment will help aid in a restful night’s sleep. Keeping the room cool and dark is ideal.
- Hide the clock: While it seems silly, keeping a clock nearby may be helpful for setting alarms, but when falling asleep avoid checking the time. This causes increased sleep pressure as checking the time and “calculating” how much sleep one can get causes increases stress. And, the light it may emit can interfere with sleep as well.
- Create a bedtime routine: Taking a warm bath or shower before bed, or taking the time to meditate and relax has proven to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Whatever you choose to do, make it consistent everynight before bed.
My favorite Vineyard Vines pajamas! Their Dream-cloth is SO cozy and perfect for bed (Not online anymore but linking similar)
Post nightly skin care routine!