We all know the feeling of trying to wake up and get moving after a poor night’s sleep. If it’s just one night, I’ll usually snap out of the fog after a shower and a strong cup of coffee. But when it goes on for too long, the negative effects of sleep deprivation start to kick in, which can be mighty bad for your health.
It may be tempting to reach for a pill to help the problem, but medications are not a good long-term solution. Nor is a daily nap (for most of us). If you really want to put your sleep problems to bed, create a wellness routine that will promote restorative sleep and lead to a healthier life. Here’s how:
Watch what you eat (and drink)
- Avoid caffeine for 8 hours before bedtime
- Limit alcohol which can interfere with your sleep cycle
- Cut out all food and drink at least 2 hours before bedtime, if possible
- If you do eat at night, make it high-protein vs. high-sugar
- Try these sleep-inducing foods and herbs and avoid foods that may interfere with sleep.
Get regular exercise
We’re always being told to get more exercise, right? Now here’s yet another reason to actually do it: healthy sleep is highly correlated with exercise. In fact, studies have shown that almost any physical activity, but especially “purposeful” activities like yoga, running or gardening – is associated with better sleep. Just don’t do it right before bed!
Turn off the tech
Bright, electronic screens and information overload are not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Try to cut out screen time an hour or two before bed. If possible, keep technology out of the bedroom completely but definitely off the nightstand.
I’ve been using an essential oil blend from Province Apothecary before I go to sleep at night. Sleep Well Therapeutic Roll is a soothing blend of lavender, petit grain, melissa, ylang ylang, clary sage and lemongrass – all which help to ease tension and anxiety, balance the nervous system and promote a restful night’s sleep. I just roll a little onto my temples and wrists and put a little dab underneath my nose before I go to bed. It definitely helps me relax!
Follow bedtime rituals
Give your body good sleep signals by keeping a regular bedtime schedule and following some of these routines:
- Take a relaxing bath
- Read a book you enjoy (not work related)
- Do some stretching, deep breathing or restorative yoga poses to calm the body and the mind
- Retreat to a quiet area of the house
- Dim the lights
- Close the curtains or wear an eye mask to keep out morning light
What are your tried & true tips for sleeping well?