If you wake up during the night, have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning or have a hard time falling asleep in the evenings – you are depleting your willpower and sabotaging your day-to-day resolutions with every bit of shut eye sacrificed. When we get busy or stressed out, sleep is often the first thing to be abandoned in an attempt to squeeze everything else into your schedule. The truth is that you can have a more productive and efficient day if you improve the quality of your sleep.
3 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP
Here are my top 3 ways for getting your beauty sleep, feeling your best and for improving your resolve to conquer your daily goals:
1. MAKE A WORRY LIST AND END IT WITH A HAPPY THOUGHT
According to the American Psychological Association, close to 75% of Americans feel they have an unhealthy level of stress. When stress interferes with shut eye time, it quickly becomes a hard-to-break negative cycle. Your perception of stress becomes exacerbated by a lack of sleep, so it is uber important to develop strategies that put stress aside in order to allow for sound sleep. Creating a “worry list” has been an effective tool for me in dealing with my own stress. Each night before going to sleep, I write a list of any tasks that I need to accomplish the next day as well as worries that I have left over from the day. The act of physically writing these thoughts on paper, helps me to release them from my mind. I end my list with a happy though in order to carry thoughts with me into sleep, normally something I am grateful for or a quick sentence about something good that transpired during the day.
2. DEVELOP A NIGHTTIME ROUTINE
Most parents establish a nighttime routine for their children in order to make the transition into sleeping easy. This routine often includes a bath and a story before turning out the lights. As a human, you are a creature of habit and can program neurological responses through repetitive actions. So, how to sleep better? Develop an evening ritual. Establishing a series of activities that you do before calling it a night, trains your body to get prepared for the coming sleep, allowing you to fall asleep with more ease when your head hits the pillow. For maximum effectiveness, include a warm shower in your nighttime ritual, as it calms your parasympathetic nervous system, helping to encourage relaxation.
Scent also stimulates strong memory responses. Pick a favorite scent to introduce into your evening ritual, such as lavender, wild orange or vanilla. Overtime, you will begin to associate this scent with sleep and your body will ease into deeper relaxation upon smelling the scent. Bring the scent with you on trips, to help with deep sleep while traveling.
3. INVEST $10 IN A BETTER NIGHT’S REST
Quiet and darkness are absolutely essential to a solid and deep night’s rest. If you live in a noisy, urban area, you need earplugs. If there is any amount of light in your sleep space, whether from electronics or light coming in through your windows, you must get an eye mask. You can purchase an eye mask and ear plugs for under $10 on Amazon.com and they will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. #Promise #NotJoking. A favorite trick of mine is to place lavender drops directly onto the outside of the eye mask, so I can breathe it in as I fall to sleep.
Research demonstrates that exposure to light during sleep, significantly suppresses your body’s release of melatonin, the major hormone that controls your sleep and wake patterns. This reduction of melatonin, undermines your body’s deep rest cycles and results in you feeling sleeping the next morning even after sleeping for a decent number of hours. I hope that these three tips help you improve your sleep and to conquer your goals in the new year!