Our busy, super hectic ‘always on’ lives leave little time to unwind, tune out and actually let your body and mind fall into a restful sleep. However, a good night’s sleep is so important to functioning like a normal human being (and not wake up in ‘zombie mode’) and staying healthy.
If falling sleep every night is almost a daily struggle for you, then keep reading because these handy tips are going to change your life...
- Make sure your room feels cool
Did you know that your internal body temperature is key in regulating your biological body clock? When you’re falling asleep, your body temperature drops slightly, and this actually helps the process along. The ideal bedroom temperature is 60- 67 degrees fahrenheit for the most sleep-friendly conditions. Also make sure that the room is completely dark. We’re talking pitch black. Darkness actually cues the brain to make melatonin, which tells your body clock that it’s time to sleep.
- Wear socks to bed
Warm feet and hands help the onset of quick sleep. For example, if you place a hot water bottle at your feet, the blood vessels on the surface of the skin widen, thereby increasing heat loss. This cools down your body and brings on a deep sleep.
- Splash some cold water
At the end of the day, you can sometimes feel anxious or distressed at bedtime, especially if your mind is overworked. The best medicine may be a face full of ice-cold water. When you’re in a full-on state, your nervous system desperately needs to be reset to help you calm down. Submerging your face in a bowl of cold water helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure. This helps to soothe your system and gradually helps you fall asleep.
- The 4-7-8 method
Wellness bloggers swear by this breathing technique and guarantee that you will fall asleep in under a minute. The method is said to relax you by increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood stream, slowing your heart rate, and releasing more carbon dioxide from the lungs.
Basically you place the tip of your tongue against your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths and you’ll be on your way to a restful night.
- Take a warm shower before bed
Warming your body up with a hot shower an hour before bed and then stepping into cooler air causes your body temperature to drop. This rapid temperature decrease slows your metabolism faster and prepares your body for sleep. Showers, as we all know, are also super relaxing and help your body unwind from the day’s physical and mental stress. In fact, if you shower every night around the same time, like a bedtime routine, your body will build an expectation of what’s coming next. This will help you drift off to la-la land quicker.
- Make sure any exercise is done during the day
Regular exercise is always a good thing. It improves overall health and is also known to reduce stress, thus helping you tune out and sleep easier. However, if you exercise within 3 hours of bedtime, the adrenaline will keep you awake. So make sure that any workout happens at a well-planned time during the day (or first thing in the morning).
- Watch what you eat
Heavy meals are of course difficult to digest and that indigestion may actually keep you awake all night. But eating too little will make you hungry which can also keep you up. The trick is to eat a light snack shortly before your regular bedtime. Snacks like bananas, Greek yogurt or hummus help to get your body (and stomach) into sleep mode.
- The bliss of aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is known to soothe the body into a blissful state and have a supremely calming effect on mind and body. There are many scents available so choose what best appeals to you: vanilla, lavender, marjoram, to name a few. Use these on your pillow, in the air or even in your bath and it will help you fall into sleep mode faster.
So no more lying wide awake in bed wondering why you can’t sleep. Try any of these amazing tips and you will wake up feeling refreshed and well rested, ready for another fabulous day!