Improve Your Sleep ~ Tips & Tricks for a Good Night’s Sleep

Imrpove Your Sleep - Tips and tricks on how to get a good night's sleepZzzzzzzz…Sleep. We all need it, we all love it, we can’t really function without it!  I have been trying to track my sleep patterns using my LEAF by Bellabeat.  Most nights I get the recommended 8 hours, but I am a pretty light sleeper and a tosser and turner (is that how you say it?!)

I discovered a few tips & tricks along the way that I thought I’d share with you. Even if you try one or two, you’ll be sleeping like a baby before you know it!

Get into a routine.  And stick to it, even on the weekends!  I know you all want that extra hour or two to sleep in or “catch up” on sleep. But I hate to break it to ya, the whole “catching up” on sleep is a myth.  Try going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every day.  Soon your body will get into a rhythm of waking up naturally and you may not even need an alarm clock!ExerciseExercise.  Make it a priority to get at least 30 minutes of activity a day.  It’s best to workout either in the morning or afternoon.  Working out in the evening can actually have the opposite effect causing you to be too energized to wind-down for bed.coffeeCut out caffeine early in the day (or switch to decaf).  I’m sure it’s a no-brainer that if you’re having trouble sleeping, that coffee at 7pm sure is not helping.  Personally, I avoid all caffeine, but for most people it’s best to have your last cup of coffee around noon. Yes, noon.  Caffeine can affect your body up to 12 hours after drinking it.  wineReduce alcohol consumption.  If you find it hard to fall asleep after that glass of wine at dinner, you may want to cut out alcohol in the evenings  as it has been proven to disrupt sleep.Yogurt and BerriesNo more bedtime snacks.  Have your last big meal no later than 3-4 hours before you plan to go to bed.  Your body needs time to breakdown and digest the meal.  If you MUST have a snack, keep it small and low in fat with slow digesting proteins and/or carbs such as a banana, protein powder with almond milk, few slices of turkey or yogurt and berries.UnplugUnplug – This is probably the most important one.  Our bodies’ natural sleep rhythms can be disrupted by light, especially the blue light emitted by electronics.  Two hours before bedtime, begin to wind down and “unplug”. That means turning off the TV, putting the cell phone away, powering down your laptop or iPad and dimming the lights.  If you want to look really cool you can try blue light blocking glasses like these or these.  Laugh all you want, but these glasses block out harmful blue rays and help you sleep better by relaxing your eye muscles so you have less strain and fatigue.  They also help reduce headaches.

I used to have to leave the TV on to fall asleep, but I slowly taught myself that I don’t need it by listening to music before bed. I prefer nature sounds or calming music or most nights, nothing at all!

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Keep your room dark. The darker, the better!  Invest in blackout curtains or use a sleep mask.  Turn off all lights.  Even lights from your alarm clock, DVD players and cable boxes can be disruptive. Try to minimize these as much as possible.LavenderRelaxation techniques.  If you find you have a million things running through your mind as you lay in bed at night, try these relaxation tips before bed:

  • A warm bath with epsom salts and/or essential oils such as lavender or chamomile.
  • Aromatherapy machine.  We recently got a Spa Room Diffuser and I love it! It’s so relaxing to walk into a room filled with lavender.
  • Mediation.  Even if it’s 2 or 5 minutes.  Find a quiet place, close your eyes and practice deep breathing. This does wonders before bedtime.
  • Light stretching or yoga.

Natural supplements.  When all else fails, you may want to try an all-natural sleep aid such as valerian, melatonin or chamomile.  Personally, I prefer valerian root which is a dietary supplement used since ancient times for insomnia and nervousness.  I find one tablet helps me fall asleep easily and I do not wake up groggy.

What tips & tricks do you have for a good night’s sleep?

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