MEMORIZE THESE HACKS, AND SLEEP LIKE A BABY
Last year, I wrote a blog post on getting a good night’s sleep. Things like cutting out caffeine and removing any glowing lights from the bedroom could help you get to sleep easier and stay asleep through the night. But I still hear from friends and family that they’re having a tough time falling asleep. So I did some digging and found a few “lifehacks” to help you fall asleep easily and stay there (at least for 7 hours or so).
Go Natural (Light, that is)
Humans were not meant to spend all day indoors in front of computer screens, but we do, and it messes with our sleep cycles. We then make it worse by spending the evenings glued to our laptops, televisions, and phones. Not to diss technology, but we need to let more natural light into our lives instead of computer screens’ warm glowing warming glow. You can do this a few ways: first, take off those sunglasses in the morning. Getting a face full of sunlight in the AM will wake you up and help you produce melatonin. Second, get away from your desk. Even if you’re a regular desk-eater, take at least part of your lunch hour to get outside. Taking a walk at lunch will get you that light exposure, but will also mitigate the health complications that arise from desk jobs. At night, turn off the television an hour or so before bedtime. And if you need to read something on a screen, try to use one without backlight. For more advice on regulating your sleep cycle with light, visit HelpGuide.org.
Go Dear Diary
Sometimes we can’t fall asleep because our minds are too full of our woes and worries. One way to get your mind to quiet down in the evenings is start writing a journal. You don’t need to revert to your teenage years, but taking some time to write down your worries, your wants, and your to-dos can help alleviate anxiety. Concerned about that leaky faucet? Write down the steps you’ll take to handle it, and include information like a plumber’s number and days that you could schedule an appointment. You’ll know that you have a plan in place, and your mind can rest easy. (Of course, in the morning you actually have to take those steps!)
Science has shown that certain scents can trigger reactions in your brain waves. Scents like lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang can activate your brain’s alpha wave activity, relaxing you and helping you fall asleep more easily. To avoid irritants from synthetic perfumes, consider purchasing essential oils, and making your own linen spray. A spritz on your pillow before you go to sleep can get you sawing logs before you know you know!
While there’s nothing better than getting warm and snuggly under a down comforter, studies actually show that humans sleep better in a colder environment. Cold temperatures inspire drowsiness, and if you’re already tired, it’s easier to get to sleep. So you can snuggle all you want, but make sure that your room is between 60 and 68 degrees during the night. You’ll be amazed by how much better your sleep gets!
There you go – a few simple hacks to help you get a good night’s sleep. Did I miss a trick that you’ve relied on for years? Let me know!
Image Credit: Eugene0126jp