Get the Health Benefits You Deserve with a Restful Night’s Sleep
Experts say that you spend roughly one-third of your life sleeping. Certainly, you want to make every moment count toward the physical and mental rejuvenation that a good sleep provides! So, how can you enjoy a restful night of slumber?
Put these 8 tips into action now to experience some of the best sleep of your life:
1. Investigate your evening routine. Think about the activities you’re involved in from the time you walk in the door to the moment your head hits the pillow. The goal is to increase your awareness about what you’re doing and see if it could be interrupting your sleep.
* Are you playing catch-up by bringing work home from the office? If so, your mind may be on overdrive and unable to turn off.
* Do you find yourself consumed with doing household chores like laundry and house-cleaning? In that case, you’re probably lacking time for relaxation.
2. Plan to be in bed with the lights out for at least eight hours. Do you stay up until after midnight? Try to schedule evening activities early, so you can still get eight hours of sleep.
* If you have trouble falling asleep, you might want to make it eight and a half hours.
3. Allow time to unwind. If you’re super busy, you’ll probably be rushing around until you finally collapse on the bed in hopes of getting a few winks.
* Instead, give yourself at least an hour to shift gears and relax before bed. Everyone needs some downtime.
4. Clear your mind from the day’s chaos. Maybe it’s reading your kids a bedtime story or taking 20 minutes to meditate. Focus on shifting your thoughts from the intense to the trivial. A tranquil mind invites more sleep than a chaotic one.
5. Create an uncluttered, relaxing bedroom environment. Although you may think that a cluttered bedroom is benign, it may be preventing relaxation and interfering with your sleep. Besides, clutter draws dust, which can cause breathing difficulties during the night.
* The first step is to put everything away. Clothes can go into drawers or the closet. Put junk mail and magazines into the recycling bin.
* The second step is to organize what you have left. Place a lamp, reading materials, and your alarm clock on your night stand. Set the scene for a comfortable night’s slumber.
* The third step is dusting. Use a damp cloth and clean all the surfaces in your bedroom each week to ensure an environment where you can breathe easily. If you spend just 15 minutes dusting and tidying your bedroom, you can prevent future clutter.
6. Turn off electronics at least one hour before bed. The light emanating from backlit screens like cell phones, tablets, and e-readers can trick your body into thinking it’s daylight and time to be awake. Plus, it’s best to rest your eyes from such gadgets before trying to sleep.
7. Take a warm bath rather than a shower. If you tend to struggle with sleep quality, it may be that your shower routine is invigorating you rather than relaxing you. Sitting for a few minutes in warm water can help your muscles relax and prepare for sleep.
8. Practice breathing in bed. Take deep breaths through your nose, hold them for five to eight seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Do four of these breaths after you switch off the lights, and you’ll feel your body immediately relax.
Adopt these practices will help you create a restful bedtime routine. When you establish consistent relaxation habits, your body will become accustomed to them, and restful sleep will follow. Soon, you’ll be sawing logs with the best of them. Sweet dreams!