Sleep is extremely important for one’s mental and physical health. Getting less sleep than your body needs can negatively affect your health, energy, productivity, emotions, and even your weight. Many of us run around on very little sleep and caffeine fueled energy to get us through the day without considering the toll on our bodies. What if we could cut down on the energy drinks by getting a better night’s sleep? We’ve narrowed down four tips and tricks to implement into your nightly routine that will have you sleeping like a baby and waking up feeling refreshed and re-energized.
Stay in Sync with Your Body’s Natural Sleep/Wake Cycle
Try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time everyday and avoid sleeping in on the weekends. Eventually your body will sync up to this cycle and make it easier for you to wake up early for class or work and fall asleep faster. Try a progressive alarm clock. Multiple applications, such as Progressive Alarm Clock and Alarm Clock for Heavy Sleepers, are available on the Apple App Store that allows you to set an alarm which gradually increases in volume. These alarms allow your body to slowly regain consciousness instead of waking you up with a sharp jarring sound. Other alarm clocks which simulate the sunrise are especially great for those gloomy winter months when you have access to limited natural sunlight. The Philips Sunrise Simulation Bedside Light, which is available at the Hudson’s Bay, has a natural dimming system to wake you up to your set time at the speed of a sunrise. These techniques give your body time to adjust and allow you to wake up at a natural pace.
Be Cautious About What You Put in Your Body
Try to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking. However, if you feel the need to drink caffeine look for beverages naturally caffeinated, such as green tea, instead of artificial energy drinks. Also, avoid heavy dinners, spicy foods, refined sugars, and refined carbs. As well, it’s a good idea to stop eating two hours before bedtime.
Improve Your Sleep Environment
It might be time to replace that pillow you’ve been sleeping on for the past three years and get a fresh pair of sheets. The more comfortable you are in your bedroom the easier it might be to fall asleep. You can also play around with temperature and scent to build your perfect sleep environment. Setting a room at 18C is commonly sighted as helpful for falling asleep. Lavender also proves to be helpful for aiding in sleep and relaxation. Try out a lavender pillow spray such as Bath and Body Works’ Lavender and Vanilla Pillow Mist or a scented diffuser like Saje’s Lavender High Grade essential oil.
When using electronics at night, try switching your screen from a yellow backlight to a blue one. Some studies show that blue lights stimulate the brain less and are less stressful on your eyes. This will make it easier to fall asleep after sending out evening emails or after indulging in a movie night. It is also a good idea to put away any electronics an hour or two before going to sleep. Instead, try reading a book, writing in a journal, or practicing meditation.