Sometimes it seems like as soon as your head touches the pillow, all of the worries you carried through the day just come rushing into your mind. Fast forward to two hours later, and you’re red eyed and still wide awake, rethinking decisions you made 3 years ago.
Getting a good night’s rest is crucial to getting the most out of your day. Lack of sleep can take a serious toll on your productivity, emotional balance, energy levels and even your weight. What can you do to work on improving your sleep?
Here’s 6 tips on how to improve your sleep.
Make your sleep and wake times into a habit.
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. That will stabilize your internal clock and will give you a more restful and peaceful sleep. Make sure these are times that you can go to sleep and wake up on every day – even on the weekend. Oversleeping on the weekend will throw your internal clock off balance, and make starting a new week harder once again. If you want additional rest over the weekend, wake up at your usual time in the moring and take a midday nap.
Be smart about naps.
Speaking of naps, be smart about when and why you are taking them. If it’s 7pm and you feel slightly tired, resist taking a nap. Get up and do a few squats, or take a short walk. Taking a nap close to your bedtime might make it hard for you to fall asleep at night, or cause you to wake up too early in the morning. It is best to take 20-30 minute naps during the day, if you really feel you need a little sleep-boost.
Exercise during the day.
This one is a well known fact. Exercise is good for tiring your body and mind out, and doing it daily will help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. For some it is better to work out earlier in the day, or at least 3 hours before they plan on going to sleep. For others, a little light exercise before bed is exactly what they need for a good night’s sleep. Try both variations on exercising and see which works better for you.
Keep in mind your exposure to light.
Melatonin is a hormone controlled by exposure to light, and regulates our sleep-wake cycle – something that slips our mind when we’re laying in bed, our faces glued to a phone screen. It is recommended to avoid any bright screens 1-2 hours before bed. However, if you might find that hard and know you won’t be able to stop yourself from checking your phone before bed, you should turn the brightness of your screen all the way down.
Improve your sleep environment.
To create a good environment for some quality sleep, make sure that you have an eye mask within reach or that your room is dimmed with heavy curtains. The room should be comfortably cool between 60 and 70°F, so that you can rest comfortably in bed and doze off into dreamland.
Clear your head and meditate.
You might not be a big fan of meditation, or maybe you haven’t tried it yet, but meditating before bed does wonders for sleep. There are various different types of meditations that works for different people, but what we would suggest is a meditation from your Leaf app. Give our Deep Sleep meditation a try, and experience how it feels to enter a soothing and restful sleep.