How's your sleep been lately? I used to s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e to fall asleep and when I didn't struggle to fall asleep, I would struggle to stay asleep. It was, to say the obvious...exhausting...until I started being more intentional about my bedtime routines.
If you're anything like me, maybe you have ebbs and flows of good sleep and not-so-great sleep, but when I’m in one of those not-so-great ebbs, I make sure to do these five things to help me get back on track.
Plan for tomorrow–today.
Ever have one of those nights where you wake up thinking about all that you have to do tomorrow or about all the things you didn’t get done today? Me too. I love to wrap up my workday by looking at my to-do list and planning out what I need to do tomorrow and when I’m going to do it.
Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean everything always goes according to plan but it’s helpful to have it all laid out!
Set the mood.
After dinner and a walk with Goose, we turn off most of the lights (with the exception of some dim lamps.) Studies show that bright lights can hinder melatonin–a hormone that the body creates to help you sleep. So set the mood in the evening by dimming the lights or using lamps with ambient lighting.
Resist the urge to check your phone.
This has made SUCH a big difference for me. I avoid checking my phone at night at all costs–lol. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and check my phone, leading me to; scroll IG, check messages, emails, etc. Nope. Nope. Nope. Don’t do it. It will disrupt your sleep and…really…is anything that happening on IG worth you waking up feeling exhausted, groggy, and like you could use another 3 hours of sleep? *Hint–the answer is no.
I'd go as far as to say true sleep hygiene would be to not bring your phone in your bed. At all. Ever. But...baby steps, right?
Ditch the wine.
Don’t get me wrong. I loooove a chilled glass of Sauv Blanc. But, alcohol disturbs your sleep cycle affecting the quality of sleep that you get. Try cutting it out during weeknights for two weeks to see how it feels for you. I’ve been loving drinking sparkling water with lemon or lime most weeknights.
Consistency is key.
Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time…as much as possible. Set your body up for success by creating a rhythm and a routine.
Make a bedtime ritual, with what you do before you go to bed.
Do you brush your teeth and then put on pajamas or vice versa? Do you put on lotion before you go to bed? Or read for 10 minutes? It might seem simple, but it makes a difference.
Set your alarm clock for the same time each morning and go to bed at the same time each night.
This obviously isn't possible all the time...but doing this as often as you can allow for your body and it's circadian rhythm to work for you, not against you.
Note that sleep habits (let’s be honest–all habits) can be hard to unweave. Choose one or two of these things to start doing today to get yourself on track for better sleep! I'd love to hear back from you if you try any of these tips in the comment section.