5.03.2018

How To Get Your Best Night's Sleep


Why is sleep so important? 
When you think about it, sleep is kinda amazing. What other process repairs body tissue, solidifies memory, strengthens immune function, and reduces stress all in one an incredibly restorative process? And it all happens while we're in this weird state of consciousness. And on the other hand, people who don't get enough sleep (or who get poor sleep) can gain weight, be more prone to insulin resistance, develop food cravings, have high blood pressure, be at a higher risk of heart disease, and are just generally grumpier people.
It's as vital as water,

5 Habits for sleeping well:

1. Exercise regularly. Making exercise a regular part of your routine is beneficial for countless reasons, and one of them is the resulted better sleep. It may seem counter-intuive; if you're tired, working out is probably the last thing you wanna do. But a good workout will help you sleep better at night. In one study in particular, women with insomnia reported better sleep once taking up aerobic activity.
But leaving the cardio for the daytime is probably a good idea. From sleep.org, "For the best night's sleep, most people should avoid strenuous workouts in the late evening or right before bed (that means no 9:00pm CrossFit!). The boost in body temperature that comes with cardio workouts, along with their stimulating nature, might interfere with falling asleep. If you prefer to get in some pre-bedtime movement, try yoga or simple stretching, both of which can help you unwind and relax for a restful night. (But it's important to note that nighttime workouts don't have the same affect on every single person, so if they're not interfering with your sleep, then there's no need to switch your routine.")

2. Sleep in complete darkness. Our bodies aren't designed to be exposed to blue light once the sun goes down, but with cell phone usage and well...electricity, we've kinda fallen off the rails in this aspect. And being exposed to light when you're trying to sleep is one of the worst things you can do for a good night's rest. But not all is lost. Read how to reduce your blue light exposure here.
The most important thing is to keep it dark and keep blue light away from your eyes. And conversely, make sure to get some sunlight exposure during the day as well. Getting out in the sun during the day will help keep your circadian rhythm in check, keeping you alert during the day and ready for bed when it's time.

3. Try a nighttime tonic. Whether it's chamomile or lavender tea, warm cinnamon milk, or a honey/water mixture. Having a hot bedtime drink can be soothing and the perfect treat right before bed. Experiment a little and see what bedtime drink works for you and gets you ready for a good night's rest.

4. Sleep in a cave. Basically. The ideal sleeping conditions are dark, cool, and quiet. Studies show that the ideal sleeping temperature is between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit. From the National Sleep Foundation:
During the course of a normal day, your body temperature rises and falls slightly. This pattern is tied to your sleep cycle. As you become drowsy, your temperature goes down, reaches its lowest level around 5:00 a.m., and climbs slightly as morning begins. This is why the air in your room can affect the quality of your sleep: if it's too hot, it may interfere with your body's natural dip and make you more restless through the night. In fact, studies indicate that some forms of insomnia are associated with an improper regulation in body temperature. 
Now that may come as a shock to those who like to keep their bedrooms at a balmy 72 degrees. If you're too chilly you can always toss on another blanket, but waking up in the middle of the night because you're too hot? The worst. A cool environment is conducive to good sleep. Keep it cool. Err on the side of chilly.

5. Don't underestimate the power of routine. Having a nighttime ritual could be just what you need to have your best night's sleep. Repeating the same habits lets your body know when it's time to prepare for sleep. This could include listening to calming music or white noise, reading a physical book (not e-book), making and using a calming pillow spray, or simply praying before bed.

Sleep well!

xo Mel
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2 comments

  1. Great post! I usually sleep pretty well, but there are some nights when I'm really restless, so I'll be sure to try some of these out next time.
    Do you have any recommendations for how to sleep in darkness when you're sharing a room with someone else? My roommate usually goes to bed later than I do, so we have dim lights on later at night. It normally doesn't bother me, but if there's a time when I'm feeling really restless, it can become an issue.

    Thanks again for sharing these tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! :)
      I'd suggest trying out an eye mask. There's a particular kind I've used before that's made to fir eyes pretty comfortably. They're pretty fantastic, so you might want to consider trying that out!
      Also (if your roommate wouldn't mind) you could switch out your lightbulbs for color changing LEDs. They come with a little remote of all different colors that makes it super easy to change the lights to red or orange light once dusk hits!
      I'll put some links below if you wanna check them out:

      eye mask: https://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Contoured-Comfortable-Blindfold-Medium-Purple/dp/B078KGLLGD/ref=sr_1_7_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1525357082&sr=8-7&keywords=eye+mask+for+sleeping

      LEDs: https://www.amazon.com/Yangcsl-Changing-Dimmable-Control-Equivalent/dp/B01N326OME/ref=sr_1_28?ie=UTF8&qid=1525358551&sr=8-28&keywords=color+changing+led

      Hope this helps <3

      Delete

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