It is not a secret that sleep is essential and a priority to maintain our physical and mental health, if we don’t sleep enough or we don’t have a good sleep quality our body will not function optimally and the first you can noticed is: your stress levels increase, your concentration levels decrease which also decreases your productivity, if this situation lasts for a long period you run the risk of suffering from a burn out.
That is why it is a priority to review our sleeping habits and create a healthy routine that fits in our needs and improves our sleep quality and therefore our well-being.
1.- Bring enough bright light during the day
Our body has a natural internal clock known as circadian rhythm, this regulates body functions, from sleeping to waking, the circadian rhythm is directly tied to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus, which coordinates the timing of biological events, like sleep, body temperature, digestion and hormone release. This internal clock is heavily influenced by your environment and can be disrupted by time zone changes, pregnancy, napping, and irregular work schedules.
Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration
Try getting daily sunlight exposure or if this is not practical invest in an artificial bright light device or bulbs.
Exposure to light during the day is beneficial, but nighttime light exposure has the opposite effect, this is due to its effect on your circadian rhythm, tricking your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. This reduces hormones like melatonin, which help you relax and get deep sleep.
2.- Create a sleep schedule
Try to get into the habit of waking up and going to bed at the same time. This will help you have a better sleep quality in the long term. After several weeks, you may not even need an alarm.
3.- Pay attention to what you eat and drink
Eating a lot very late at night, as well as consuming caffeine or alcohol just before going to sleep, has negative effects on your sleep quality. In fact, the ideal would be not to drink caffeine more than 6 hours up before going to sleep and take a light low-carb dinner.
Hydrate enough during the day so that at night you don’t have to constantly get up to go to the bathroom and you don’t have to interrupt your sleep.
4.- Relax and clear your mind at night
With all the worries and stress of the day, relaxing at bedtime is a challenge, but relaxing and putting your worries aside to sleep well is also a priority in your live, try to find healthy ways to relax your mind at bedtime, for example you can write a to-do list of everything you have to do the next day so you don’t forget anything, arrange the clothes you are going to wear the night before, so you don’t have also to worry about what you are going to wear in the morning, listen to some music, watch a comedy program (it works for me) or something you like on TV that leaves you with a nice and positive thought to go to sleep, meditate about your day, talk with a friend, take a relaxing tea like: chamomile, valerian or linden tea, or warm milk if you prefer. The important thing is that you take a break from your worries and rest knowing that you have everything organized for the next day.
Tip: Pouring a few drops of lavender oil into your pillow is how most people use lavender oil to help them sleep or sometimes I spray a little bit of my favorite perfume op my pillow, work too, however to avoid staining your sheets and bedding, you can put the drops or spay in a handkerchief or washcloth placed on the pillow.
5.- Exercise daily
Daily exercise is a key to a good night’s sleep, doing some physical activity during the day helps us fall asleep faster and sleep better, in my case with two children, I have so many things to do during the day that at 8 o’clock at night after the children go to bed I just fell asleep.
6.- Create a relaxing and comfortable environment in your room
Create in your room an ideal environment for sleeping: comfortable, cozy and beautiful according with your needs and taste, make sure that the temperature of your room is the most comfortable for you to sleep, some people like it cool to sleep others a little warmer. Adjust the temperature according to your taste.
Try to minimize external noise, light, and artificial lights. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable place.
Investing in a quality bed, mattress and pillow, contributes to a better sleep quality and prevents you from suffering lower back pain, replace your pillows every 2-3 years or if you feel are not comfortable enough for you.
7.- Ask for help
If none of these tips can help you due to the nature of your problems, do not hesitate to seek help as soon as possible from an expert professional who can guide you to solve the problems that overwhelmed you or rule out a sleep disorder or an underlying health condition, remember that our physical and mental health should be always a priority.
Live and enjoy a more chic life.