Raise your hand if you average seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night. If you do, that’s incredible! If you don’t, then keep reading.
Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to achieving overall health. Did you know that getting restful sleep makes you less prone to depression and can help with weight loss and getting in shape? There are a few things you can do to maintain your sleep hygiene before heading to bed to prepareyour mind and body for optimal sleep.
1. Set a Bedtime
It’s important that you train your brain to know when it’s actually bedtime. Try to keep a consistent sleep schedule so your body starts to recognize when it’s time to start winding down. You can also add a nightly ritual, like brushing your teeth, changing into pajamas, using relaxing aromatherapy or plugging your phone into the charger.
If you get into a consistent rhythm of doing your nightly ritual then immediately lying in bed, after a short while, you will have successfully conditioned your brain to associate the ritual activity with sleep. However, even with a consistent sleep schedule, the woes of the day or any type of stress or anxiety could still make it a challenge to get the restful sleep your body needs.
If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep, try Ashwagandha gummies before bed. The adaptogenic properties of Ashwagandha are great for helping you relax and relieve stress. In addition, Ashwagandha can help reduce inflammation and assist with mood support.
Ironic as it may seem, research has found that moderate aerobic exercise is the most effective at relieving insomnia. Besides physically exhausting your body, your body’s temperature drops within 30-90 minutes after a workout, which mimics the same drop in body temp right before you fall asleep. Exercise also releases endorphins, which can alleviate stress, anxiety and depression, ultimately helping you fall and stay asleep.
Finally, as with everything in nature, your body has an internal circadian rhythm, which, when misaligned, can cause insomnia. This type of insomnia often happens with shift workers who may sometimes work nights and other times work during normal daylight hours.
Giving your body a natural boost of serotonin with an exercise like running can help reset your body’s clock and get you back on a regular sleep cycle.However, it is important to note that you
should avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as experts recommend allowing at least a two-hour window after exercise and before bedtime, or it could have the opposite effect and keep you up. You can also add a Night Time Fat Burner to your nightly routine to rest, recover and continue reaping the rewards of your workout while you sleep.
Meditation is another excellent pre-bedtime activity to help you fall asleep naturally. This doesn’t mean you have to assume the Lotus position. As long as you are in a comfortable position, even just lying in bed, you can meditate. If you’re new to meditation, you can start with something as simple as breathing. Another simple relaxation practice is mindfulness meditation, which is just bringing your focus to the present. Using your senses, notice the presence of your surroundings, the rhythm of your breathing and your heartbeat.
As you become more comfortable in your new practice, you can begin to incorporate other forms of meditation like doing a body scan, engaging in visualization exercises, progressive muscle relaxation or listening to a guided meditation. When you meditate, you can tune into your spiritual self and help your mind turn off for the evening.
4. Tech-Free Environment
You probably already know that electronics can adversely affect your sleep. Besides interruptions by blinking lights or alerts on your devices, studies have shown that electronic devices like your phone, computer or tablet can impact the production of melatonin in your body, which is necessary for restful sleep. Be sure and turn off all electronic devices, televisions and put your cell phone on snooze at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Doing this will not only help your brain disconnect from the daily grind and outside distractions, but will also help your body adjust to the dark and your sleep-wake cycle will know it’s time for sleep.
If you have to stay up during the night hours for work or study, you can try some of these strategies to help you get into a better sleep routine.
5. Zen Your Space
Turn your bedroom into a Zen space. Try putting on relaxing music and arranging your furniture according to the principles of Feng Shui and Chi so that energy moves evenly throughout the room. You can also use blackout curtains to eliminate extra lighting or just get an eye mask from your local drug store. Set a cool temperature. It might also be worth investing in better pillows that are contoured for the type of sleeper you are. Aromatherapy lamps are an excellent addition to up the Zen mode in your bedroom, but if the lamp you choose uses heat, make sure you turn it off before falling asleep! You can reap the same benefits from aromatherapy oils or lotions that you apply to your skin or pillow case to help you achieve the ultimate night’s sleep.
Sleep is one of the most effective -- and easy ways to heal the mind and body. If your body is lacking the necessary rest it needs, it will most certainly tell you. Sleep deprivation can impact your physical and mental health, along with a laundry list of other issues. Fortunately, in most cases it’s just a matter of improving your sleep hygiene routine. However, if you find yourself still struggling with poor sleep or insomnia after trying any of these methods, you may want to speak with your doctor.