As the foundation of well-being, lack of sleep impacts both your physical and mental health. But then again, everyone already knows this.
The problem isn’t that people aren’t aware of how necessary sleep is - the problem lays in the fact that people do know and yet have trouble making a change.
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, wide awake, and rethinking decisions you made 3 years ago.
The next day, you wake up early - work, school, kids, responsibilities - have to get that jump on the day, right? If you’re lucky, you can squeeze in an afternoon nap; most days, you’re probably not so lucky. Finally, it’s night time and you think you’ll be able to get that rest in, but again sleep doesn’t come easy…
You wake up early - work, school, kids, responsibilities… and so it continues.
Until you are overstressed, overworked and under-slept without a thought to spare on your body’s needs.
Isn’t it time to stop that vicious cycle?
Being well rested doesn’t just mean having that one day to sleep in. It means building a good sleep habit based on your body’s personal needs. Having a hectic lifestyle and trying to somehow magically create extra hours in the day is an unfortunate reality for the majority of women.
While we don’t offer a wand or a genie in a bottle that can grant your wishes, what we want to do is help you reach your goals - particularly the sleep one!
What can you do to sleep better?
1. Start with making your sleep and wake times into a habit.
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Yes, we know, it sounds impossible. But achieving this will stabilize your internal clock and give you a more restful and peaceful sleep. This advice might seem like some folk legend passed down through the ages (do people really manage to do this?) but we’re here to say - they do! Trust us, after a while you get used to it and it becomes an effortless habit!
2. 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. 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. Get up and do a few squats, or take a short walk. It is best to take 20-30 minute naps during the day, if you really feel you need a little sleep-boost.
3. 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 and see which works better for you.
4. 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. 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.
And last but not least, our personal favorite… meditation!
5. Meditation is the modern milk and honey.
In case you still imagine meditation as someone sitting cross legged next to a waterfall, chanting... it’s time to change this perception. In our Bellabeat app, you can find a list of over 30 meditation and breathing exercises made with various different techniques. Meditation will help relax your mind and make it easier to drift off into dreamland.
Try these suggestions, or if you can’t implement them all, start with just a few!
By using smart technology that powers our Leaf wellness tracker, you’ll be able to see your sleep patterns and the difference creating a good bedtime habit can make.
When it comes to improving sleep, what has worked best for you so far?
Let us know in the comments below!