Sleep is essential to overall health and lack of sleep is linked to a lot of health concerns, in fact, the dangers of sleep deprivation are downright scary. This is pretty general advice and doesn’t touch on specific reasons you wouldn’t be able to get more sleep, as in, if you’re a new parent, or have a particularly noisy neighbour. If you just can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep and you can’t figure out why, then try these 6 tips from Coach Stevo to catch more z’s:
1. Plan a sleep routine Going to bed at the same time every night (or at least every weeknight) sets the stage for shutting down your brain and falling asleep quickly. But the plan should start well before you turn out the lights. 2. Set a “shut down” alarm It takes time to unwind, so have an alarm go off 30 to 45 minutes before you want to actually be asleep and begin your bedtime ritual. 3. Create a nightly ritual Turn off all your electronic screens, write down everything you need to do tomorrow (so you’re not fretting about when the lights go out), get into your pajamas, brush your teeth, wash your face, drink a small glass of water. Whatever you need to do before bed, do it in the same order every night. This sends the message to your brain that it’s sleepy time. 4. Get dark Humans are very sensitive to light, so do your best to make your bedroom as dark as possible. Think about repositioning your furniture, purchasing a set of dark curtains, and covering up all the little lights on your devices—black electrical tape works well. If you keep your cell phone on your bedside table, place it face down. 5. Shhh… Make your room as quiet as possible. A bed partner can make this difficult, so consider investing in a pair of earplugs or a white noise machine if the person next to you is a heavy breather. There are also phone apps that successfully muffle the sound of snoring. 6. Soak up the sun during the day Exposing yourself to plenty of natural light during the day, taps into your body’s circadian rhythm—the internal clock that tells you when you’re tired. At night, the contrast of your dark, quiet room, will strongly signal that clock to make you sleepy, so you’ll fall asleep faster and more easily. Spend as much time outside during the day or in bright rooms as you can and save dark spaces for bedtime.Everyone is different, and some of these strategies will work more for certain people than they will for others. Changing your habits and environment when it comes to bedtime will hopefully help you have more control over your sleep patterns. The more sleep, and better quality sleep, that you get the more energy you’ll have for every other aspect of your life.