Snooze It or Lose It: Five Habits to Help Improve Sleep
Every night you get in your pajamas, turn off the lights, close your eyes, and nothing happens. Sound familiar? You’re not alone — many are chasing after the elusive beauty of a good night’s sleep after a year of upending daily routines. A new lifestyle relying on screen time and inactivity has caused sleepless nights for all.
If you’ve been tossing and turning, try implementing these five habits into your life. A few simple changes might be the key to starting your day bright-eyed.
1. put screens away
Scrolling through your socials may be entertaining, but it is likely a culprit of your sleepless nights. Our brain tells us when to be tired based on our light intake. When we look at the blue light on our phones we block our brain’s ability to produce melatonin. Try turning off your phone and TV one to two hours before you plan to go to bed — you might find yourself drifting off in no time.
2. chill out
How you set your thermostat may be another cause for your tossing and turning. Since our bodies are wired to cool down in the evenings, cooling down your room may be just the hint to signal it’s time for sleep. No need to feel frigid — just find a comfortable cooler temperature to set your thermostat to and feel yourself unwind.
3. prioritize your diet
The truth is, what we eat has a huge impact on the balance of our lives. Although trying to get energy and sleep from foods may seem counterintuitive, there are foods that help you sleep better. Fruits and vegetables such as bananas, corn, tart cherries, sweet potatoes, and edamame have crucial nutrients like magnesium, which helps activate melatonin and, in turn, helps you relax. Investing in your diet during the day can certainly pay off at night to help get your zzz's in.
4. consistency is key
Falling asleep and waking up at the same time every day helps your body align with the natural flow of the day. A schedule can also act as a timer for your brain to start producing melatonin around your usual bedtime.
Finding times that work within your schedule to wake up and fall asleep is a great first step! Don’t forget to listen to your body and let it tell you when it’s time to go to bed, not the other way around.
5. embrace your space
Make going to bed a destination. If you design your bedroom specifically for sleep, you can help signal to your body that it’s time to go to bed. Limit distractions and avoid sleeping with your television or phone nearby. Fluff up your pillows, make your bed, and regularly wash your sheets. Creating an oasis for your body to relax is a priority when it comes to getting quality shuteye.
There are many ways to help yourself fall asleep at night. A full night’s sleep is a non-negotiable in living a more balanced life. Whether you start by taking a phone break, keeping a schedule, or eating foods with melatonin — what matters is finding the sleep habits that work best for your lifestyle.
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