26 February 2015

9 tips to better sleep

This past week I have really struggled with getting in good, quality sleep, which makes me sad because I LOVE SLEEP! I chalk it up to working night shift, which is a whole different problem I have, but I went on the hunt for some tips for getting a better sleep. 

1. Sleep is not something you really have control of in your life, so stop letting it worry you. The more you worry about your sleeping habits, the more it will drive you crazy and the less sleep you will get! 
2. Set yourself a bedtime for every day. Just like you have an alarm to wake in the morning, set aside a time to wind down and head to bed. This will help your body to regulate its sleep schedule. This may be difficult some times (especially with shift work like me) but aiming for the same time to hit the sack every night will help you.
3.  Have a warm bath or shower. Not only will it relax you, the drop in body temperature when you get out will help you to drift off more quickly. It will help to make the room cool! The cool temperature helps your body to relax and function in a more calm state.
4. Turn all the lights out. Even the crack of light under the door can disturb your sleep. Turn out hallway lights, TVs, computers…anything with a light that you may see while trying to catch some ZZZZ’s.  
5. Avoid using your phone/tablet/laptop in bed. Not only does the blue light emitted from electronic screens disturb your sleep pattern, it can also prevent you from getting those precious ZZZ's. If you want to read before bed, opt for the newspaper or a book.
6. Find the pillow that is most comfortable for you and your sleeping style! You may need a different pillow than your partner if you are a back sleeper and they are a side sleeper. Figure out which works best for you! Make sure to find one that is comfortable and supportive.
7.  Avoid caffeine after dinner. Simple.
8. Stop concentrating on what you need to do tomorrow, or the craziness that was life today and just breathe. Take nice slow deep breaths to clear your mind and put your body in a relaxing state.
9.  There is no such thing at catching up on missed sleep. So you only slept for 5 hours last night? Napping isn't your answer, it will only further inhibit your sleep tonight. Keeping your body in a regular sleep schedule is your answer.

Do you have any go-to tips for getting a good nights sleep?
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