Sleep can set the routine for the whole day. Waking alert and rested can put you in a successful frame of mind, and prepares you to tackle the day. As part of my Get Healthy 2015 series, with collaboration from Casper Mattress, I am sharing some helpful tips to get more restful sleep at night. Being a busy mom and blogger, and naturally a night owl, getting enough sleep isn't an easy task for me. I have incorporated these 6 tips into my daily routine to help ease transition from being awake to falling asleep, to wake up more rested.
*Disclosure: I was asked to write an article on my best sleep tips and tricks for Sleep Awareness Week by a representative at Casper, a sleep start-up company. I was not compensated in any way. This article is written 100% by me and includes my honest opinion that was in no way influenced by a third party. For even more tips to ease you to sleep, visit the blog at Casper.*
Stay on a schedule, for the whole family
Just like our growing children, adults should strive to go to bed and wake up at the same times, even on our days off. Normalizing our sleep-wake cycles helps our body stay on a rhythm, and promotes better sleep. A constant adjusting schedule can result "Sunday Night Insomnia", troubles falling asleep similar to the effects of jet-lag.
Sleeping on a schedule also means waking up on a regular schedule too (even on days off)! While sleeping in sounds like an awesome weekend plan, I end up with side effects like caffeine withdrawal headaches and sore muscles, which leaves me in a morning funk.
Speaking of caffeine, know when to quit for the day
Coffee is great, like an elixir of life for us parents with small children. Enjoy all the coffee and caffeinated drinks you want in the mornings and early afternoon. Caffeine can stay in your system for 8-14 hours, so drink accordingly. For those sensitive to the effects of caffeine, stop drinking caffeinated beverages after 2 pm or earlier.
Put away the electronics at least one hour before bed
Bright light emitted from electronics can suppress your body's melatonin production, making it harder to regulate your sleep cycle. By watching television, working on the computer or playing on gadgets late at night, you are tricking your body into thinking it is still daytime, even in the middle of the night.
Of course, storing all electronics out of the room might not be feasible, since a majority of people use their cell phones for alarm clocks and music players. Turn ringers and notification noises down and use "do not disturb" functions so you aren't being woken up to chimes and beeps in the middle of the night.
Create a sleep-friendly environment in the bedroom
Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows designed for your sleeping style, and replace pillows regularly (some experts recommend every six months while others say at least every two years). Also, consider replacing light bulbs with those designed to emit less blue light and clear away the clutter.
In our busy world of too much to do, too little time, stress can be prevalent. Create ways to reduce stress in your daily life by getting organized, setting schedules and routines, and giving yourself a break when needed. Need more help relieving stress? Try talking to a friend, enjoy a good laugh, or practice calming routines such as meditation, yoga, or stretching. You can also try sipping on a warm beverage (try chamomile tea or warm milk) and listen to some of your favorite tunes during your quiet, pre-bedtime routine.
Develop a bedtime routine
Prepare your body for sleep by winding down at night. Doing quiet activities such as reading or journaling can settle your mind and ease the transition from wakefulness to sleep.
If you stay awake making lists in your mind, keep paper and pencil on your nightstand to jot down ideas. Review your list in the morning, and use it as a guide to create daily or weekly to-do lists.
Success during the day all starts from getting a good night's sleep. I hope these 6 tips help you develop your own nighttime routine to help you sleep better at night. What are some of your tricks to fall asleep faster or get a more restful night's sleep?