How To Sleep Better This Year
January can be a tough time of year. We are usually all so drained from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but yet are made to feel like we need to be super motivated and working hard as soon as January hits! Well, it makes it very hard to feel that motivation if we are drained and fatigued. Not to mention that the weather is cold and dry, our days are shorter, and we aren’t getting a lot of sun! Well, how about instead of trying to conquer the world in the month of January, we focus instead on conquering sleep! That way, you can feel refreshed and energized and set the tone for the rest of your year.
Sleep is such an important part of your health and something that tends to get overlooked. We think we need to just eat really healthy and exercise lots, but none of those efforts will matter if you aren’t getting the rest that your body needs.
I used to be such a great sleeper. I would fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and I would sleep like a rock. As I got a bit older, my sleep seemed to change. I became such a light sleeper and would wake up at any noise; sometimes I would spend hours just tossing and turning, and all of this caused some anxiety around bedtime! So I understand that it can be frustrating for someone to say, “Just get some more sleep!” But, how?!
Well, here are my top 10 tips for getting a restful sleep and getting in the habit of creating a sleep routine:
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday. Your body needs to get into a routine and if you create a bedtime for yourself, then your body will know when it is time for rest.
No electronics at least an hour before you want to sleep! As someone who is fairly addicted to Netflix, this one is the toughest for me. However, the blue light that radiates from our phones, TV’s, and computers, causes us to produce daytime/awake hormones, like cortisol. This light from our devices really interrupts our natural sleep rhythms and makes it a lot harder for our bodies to wind down. We need to be producing melatonin in the evenings so we can relax and sleep, not cortisol.
Instead of watching TV or scrolling through your phone that hour before bed, try to do relaxing activities and use it as some self-care time. My favourite things to do before bed are reading, stretching, meditation, colouring, or having a bath with Epsom salts & lavender oil! Also, keep a journal by your bed. If you find your mind racing with worries and things you need to do, then write them down and put them out of your mind for the night.
Your diet plays a role in sleep! Try not to eat late at night, like past 7 or 8 pm. Your body needs a break to rest and digest. Also, try not to drink caffeine past noon. The more caffeine you have in the afternoon and evening, the harder it will be to wind down. You want to also avoid foods that contain sugar. Lastly, avoid alcohol - alcohol tends to make us fall asleep quickly, but you won’t get a good quality sleep.
Make your bedroom an environment that is conducive to sleep. You want your bedroom to be in total darkness when you sleep. No light nights or lights from alarm clocks, etc. It is also easier for you to sleep at a cooler temperature. Don’t crank the heat and instead turn down the temperature a bit before bed. You also want to sleep in light and cool clothing.
Taking a magnesium supplement before bed can help relax your body and calm anxiety. However, magnesium is best absorbed through the skin, so you could try an Epsom salt bath or some magnesium body lotion/oil.
Put some lavender oil on your wrists, temples, and throat before bed. You could even put some on your pillow. If you have an oil diffuser you could diffuse lavender oil before sleep as well.
If you find that you wake up easily, try a sleep eye mask and ear plugs!
Try to get exposure to sunlight during the day. Even 20 minutes of sun per day helps your body to release melatonin, which is vital for healthy sleep.
Last, but not least, try a guided sleep meditation or sleep story. These can be so helpful for when sleep feels impossible. Calm and Insight Timer are my favourite apps for that!
I hope this list helps you get a more restful sleep! Here is to a refreshed and energized 2019!
PS: Have questions or want to work with me? Send me a message below!