Sleep: It does a body good. While we all wish we could sleep like a baby again, many adults, teens, and kids are struggling to get adequate rest at night.
This issue is greatly exacerbated with the extra stress and anxiety during life right now in the time of Coronavirus.
Everyone’s normal routines are thrown off and each day seems to be a little bit different, making it harder to stick to a bedtime routine. There is also so much unknown about the future, which causes additional stress and worry that can impact the quantity and quality of your sleep.
Are you typically one of those people that pop out of bed in the morning, or do you feel low-energy and sluggish? Do you wake-up during the night or have trouble falling asleep? Do you make sleep a priority in your life?
Sleep is incredibly important for overall health and well-being. But many people do not get enough sleep; they may even wear that fact as a badge of honor.
The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night, as this is the time your body has to rest and repair critical functions.
You may think you can function on less sleep, but the question is are you performing at your peak level or just getting by?
How Sleep Improves Your Daily Life
- Improved mental clarity: your mind and body will be sharp and focused.
- Better ability to make healthy food choices instead of reaching for processed foods, sugar, and caffeine to get you through your day.
- Motivation to workout and move your body.
- Reduce stress and anxiety. When you are sleep-deprived, your body goes into a state of stress.
- Improved immunity and the ability to fight the common cold, viruses, etc.
To improve your sleep, aim to keep your sleep hours the same everyday – or within about 30 minutes. Ideal hours are 10 PM – 6 AM.
Start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier for a few days and then keep moving the time back by 15 minutes until you wake up feeling rested.
Once you are on a consistent schedule, your body will naturally fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day. This usually takes about two to three weeks to happen.
A Few Other Helpful Sleep Tips
- Stop eating 2-3 hours before you plan to go to bed so that your body can focus on rest and repair while it’s asleep, instead of using up energy for digestion. If it is hard to be in the kitchen, try to go into a different room for your remaining wake hours.
- Create a calm and peaceful sleep environment. Make your room pitch black, keep the temperature cool, and consider using a noise machine to block out outside noises. Also make sure that your bedding is breathable and not made from synthetic materials that will make you hot.
- Avoid electronics in the bedroom. We know this is hard for many people – including us. Turn off
your electronics at least 30 minutes before bed and wear blue light blocking glasses when you need to be in front of a screen 1-2 hours before bedtime. Charge your phone outside the bedroom to avoid the temptation to use it.
- Try some relaxing activities such as stretching/light yoga, reading, an Epsom salt bath, or any other activity you find relaxing. We also recommend staying away from the news. We know it can be hard, especially during this time, but try to read your news earlier in the day and even limit it to once or twice per day.
- Keep a journal and a to-do list near your bed to help settle your racing mind. Write everything down that is weighing on you so you can fall asleep more easily. This can also help if you wake-up in the middle of the night with a racing mind. Try reframing your thoughts and think about what you are grateful for or what you are looking forward to the next day.
- Start a meditation practice. We know this is intimidating for a lot of people. Start with 5-10 minutes (or even 1 minute!) before bed. Create a peaceful environment for yourself to set the tone. If you prefer a guided practice, use an app like Calm or Peloton.
Remember, establishing a new habit takes time. Give yourself grace and try one tip at a time. If you have tried all of these suggestions and you are still having trouble, we recommend looking into natural sleep supplements.