5 Tips For Improving Your Sleep Routine
It’s no secret that sleep plays a vital role in immune function, metabolism, memory and learning. However, according to the CDC, one in three Americans don’t get enough sleep. In order to help, we broke down some of our favorite tips for cozying up and getting the best six to eight hours per night.
Expose Yourself to Natural Light First Thing in the Morning
According to Reuters, “Researchers found that people who were exposed to greater amounts of light during the morning hours, between 8 a.m. and Noon, fell asleep more quickly at night and had fewer sleep disturbances during the night compared to those exposed to low light in the morning.”
Sun exposure helps keep your circadian rhythms (a healthy sleep-wake cycle) in check. It’s also important to get natural sun exposure during the day. Be sure to take some time for yourself at the office and get outside, even if it’s just for a ten-minute break!
Create A Soothing Sleep Environment
Your bedroom should be your sanctuary. It should be free of all stressors including clutter, bright lights and screens. Add elements to your room to make for a more soothing environment such as oil diffusers (our fav here!), humidifiers, white noise machines or blackout curtains. If you have been stuck in a sleep rut, try and change up your space and see if it improves your sleep!
Be Mindful Of Your Food Intake
Avoid large meals up to three hours before bedtime to avoid indigestion. Fried food, spicy dishes or citrus fruits are all things that can disrupt sleep. If you find yourself hungry close to bedtime, focus on whole foods such as nuts, berries or fruits. Check out these late-night snack recommendations from Registered Dietitians for some inspiration! And, obviously, avoid late-in-the-day caffeine.
Establish a Bedtime Ritual — and Stick to It
A lot of times it’s easier said than done, but sticking to a nighttime routine helps the body recognize it’s time for bed. Find what works for you. Wash your face, shut down all electronics, drink tea, meditate, avoid stressful interactions such as work emails and emotional conversations.
Pro tip: if your anxiety is keeping you up, keep a journal next to your bed and write down your thoughts so you can set them aside for the evening.
Make Exercise A Part Of Your Daily Routine
According to Sleep.org, “As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can dramatically improve the quality of your nighttime sleep, especially when done on a regular basis.” Be sure to get moving earlier in the day when possible so your body isn’t stimulated, further impacting your sleep.
Let us know your favorite tips for getting a good night sleep in the comments below!