Being well rested has more of an impact on your daily life than you may think. They say even just coming up short on sleep by a half hour every night can eventually leave you feeling groggy, low energy, and caffeine-dependent all day, every day. Let’s be honest: for this mom if I came up only half an hour short on sleep that would be like a dream come true.
With daylight savings time right behind us the premise of an extra hour sleep sure does sound nice, doesn’t it? Breathe Right wants you to pledge to make a healthy commitment to disconnect for an extra hour of sleep as part of the #BreatheRightSleepIn movement (a movement I can get behind!). You can see more about it on their YouTube channel.
Millions of people around the world use Breathe Right nasal strips to sleep better; they open nasal passages so you can breathe through your nose without using any medications. And now you can relieve your stuffy nose and sleep better with the calming scent of new Breathe Right Lavender nasal strips. You’ll breathe better so you can sleep better and even feel better, too. And that’s a great relief.
Once you’re ready to make a change or two to improve the amount and quality of sleep you get, turn to these ideas for even more ways to spend more time in dreamland.
Table of Contents
- 1. Decorate your bedroom in calming colors and decor.
- 2. Reserve your bed for sleeping.
- 3. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
- 4. Exercise daily, but not too close to bedtime.
- 5. Develop bedtime rituals to wind down.
- 6. Choose comfortable bedding to help you avoid being woken by discomfort.
- 7. Install blackout curtains or room-darkening shades on your bedroom windows.
- 8. Eat a small snack before bed, but not a large meal.
- 9. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine during the hours preceding bed.
- 10. Dim the lights at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
1. Decorate your bedroom in calming colors and decor.
Neon-colored walls and bold modern art may look cool, but they probably won’t help you wind down before bed. Instead, put these in other parts of the house and in the bedroom, choose muted colors, like earth tones, for your paint, bedding, and curtains. As you select artwork to hang, choose serene images, like nature, that will help promote restfulness as you approach bedtime.
2. Reserve your bed for sleeping.
If you’re accustomed to reading, working, or watching TV in bed, it will be harder for you to fall asleep because your brain is trained to be active in bed. Therefore, set aside your bed as a place where you sleep, and find other locations to take part in the other activities. If you have kids or pets, find alternate locations for them to sleep so they won’t disturb you during the night.
3. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
Yes, this means weekends, too. You will be more likely to fall asleep quickly if your body is accustomed to a particular sleep schedule, whereas staying up later and sleeping in on weekends can make it more difficult to get back on schedule during the week. If you find that you’re too tired because you’re waking up at a specific time, go ahead and take a nap, but try to make it early in the day and limit it to about 30 minutes.
4. Exercise daily, but not too close to bedtime.
Getting physical exercise is a great way to burn off some of that extra energy and help your body to be ready for sleep when bedtime rolls around. For best results, plan your workouts for the afternoon or early evening so you still have a few hours to wind down before bed. Exercising too close to bedtime can cause the endorphin rush to keep you awake.
5. Develop bedtime rituals to wind down.
Perhaps you would enjoy sipping a mug of herbal tea or warm milk before bed, taking a relaxing bath, or curling up in a recliner with a good book. Whatever it is, make it a habit so your body will become conditioned to expect sleep after that activity. Building these activities into your routine can also help you relieve stress and unwind from your day so you’re less likely to lie awake worrying about things.
6. Choose comfortable bedding to help you avoid being woken by discomfort.
This means you need a mattress that doesn’t sag in the middle, a pillow that adequately supports your neck, and the proper bedding. Consider getting a duvet cover and comforters of several weights so you can change out which one you use depending on the season and the temperature inside your home.
7. Install blackout curtains or room-darkening shades on your bedroom windows.
Especially if you get a lot of light in your windows from cars driving by, bright street lights, or other sources, this light may be disrupting your body’s production of melatonin to help you sleep. Being able to darken your room makes it much easier for you to create a restful environment. They’re also incredibly helpful for those bright mornings just before daylight savings time in the spring and during the long days of summer.
8. Eat a small snack before bed, but not a large meal.
A full stomach can keep you awake because it makes it difficult to get comfortable, not to mention that you may have indigestion if you lie flat after eating a large meal. At the same time, though, going to bed with an empty stomach can keep you awake because a monster seems to be growling under the covers. Even if you do fall asleep, you may wake up hungry just a few hours later. The best snacks for before bed include protein so they have more staying power.
9. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine during the hours preceding bed.
These can make it physiologically more difficult for your body to fall asleep. If you’re especially sensitive to caffeine, you may want to stop after your morning cup of coffee to make sure it makes its way out of your system well before bedtime arrives. Although alcohol and nicotine may make you feel sleepy at first because they’re depressants, you’ll feel wide awake just a little while later when the effects begin to wear off.
10. Dim the lights at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
Bright lights stimulate your body, whereas dim rooms bring on sleepiness. The worst kind of lights are those with blue tones, as you’ll see on most devices with screens. Therefore, stick to a dim yellow-toned light only for at least a half hour before you call it a night. Your body will start producing melatonin that will help you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep.
You can put some of these tips into practice tonight, while others require a little bit more of your time and attention to get set up. Start now in whatever ways you can and take note of whether the amount and quality of your sleep improves, which it should within a few weeks of putting these changes into effect. Regardless of the results, don’t let anxiety about your sleep patterns take over, because that can make the problem even worse. The more you can relax, the better you’ll sleep!