Top Eight Secrets for Restful Sleep
There are times where we’ve all felt like the Sandman made a career change and forgot to put in his two weeks’ notice. Long, restless nights and early, slow mornings can become more frequent as old(er) age, sleep pattern changes, and bigger life-changing decisions emerge.
A lack of sleep can have serious repercussions on our health, increasing our risk for obesity, type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Ready to reclaim your sleep cycle? Check out our top eight secrets to restful sleep.
1. Use the sounds of ocean waves as your lullaby.
It works! Rolling ocean waves are not only great for aromatherapy massages; they are also a...well, sound way to put yourself to sleep. Doctors say the brain regards these sounds as 'non-threats’, unlike the slamming of a car door or sirens piercing the night. In fact, it blocks out these other, more alarming noises.
2. Put your phone (and other tech) away.
All technology emit a troublesome blue light that subdue melatonin production, which controls your sleep/wake cycle. The decrease in melatonin makes it difficult to maintain a healthy sleep cycle. It is recommended that you allow at least 30 minutes of technology-free time before going to bed.
3. Stop drinking water 2 hours before sleeping.
It can be hard to deny yourself hydration before bed, but drinking water before bed can increase the number of times you need to potty during the night. If your urine output is not decreasing at night, you forfeit the 6-8 hours of recommended sleep time because of the frequent interruptions.
A brisk daily walk has multiple benefits, and one of them is the ability to keep you up less often at night. Exercise increases the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin. Try not to work out too late as it can be stimulating. If you can, working out in the morning is best.
5. Reserve your bed for ONLY sleeping stimulants, such as sleep and sex.
Refrain from using your bed like an office. Don’t answer phone calls, send or respond to emails, or schedule work-related tasks. If you are making restful sleep a top priority, then late-night TV should become a thing of yesterday. Think of it like this: you wouldn’t use your office desk for a bed; give the same consideration to your sleeping quarters.
6. Design your bedroom for maximum comfort.
Your bedroom should be so cozy and relaxing that it rivals the ambience of a Chinese garden. Keep it darkened, tranquil, and void of motion. Of course, the key feature in the comfort level of your bedroom is the bed itself, so make sure you invest in an ideal mattress to support a good night’s sleep.
7. Schedule sleep time.
It may seem like a bit of overkill, but many people schedule time to ensure they receive 8 hours of quality sleep regularly. Adding sleep as part of your to-do list will encourage you to treat it as an appointment. More importantly, being strict about your sleep appointment will help you make it a regular routine.
8. Get out in the sunlight soon after waking up in the morning
When you wake up, don't lounge around in bed. Make sure you’re exposed to sunlight, or at least bright light, to trigger your body’s natural clock that it’s time to wake up. After incorporating this into your morning routine, your internal clock will be set to go to bed 14-16 hours later.