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What if you could create simple bedtime routines that would send you into a blissful 8 hours of slumber, and allow you to wake up energized & raring to go?
Sleep is an important part of overall health and weight loss. When sleep is disturbed by stress, poor health, and your bedroom environment, it causes increased anxiety, disorganization, depression, disrupted hormonal balances and weight gain. Instead of restless nights, follow these simple steps to create bedtime routines that will have you sleeping like a baby!
- Get as much sun exposure as you can during the day, especially in the morning. Have your coffee on the porch, take your computer outside to work and let as much light into your workspace as you can.
- Do the reverse at night. Make sure your room is as dark as you can make it, with drapes or blinds to shut out exterior lights. If you have blinking lights from TVs or other electronic devices in the bedroom, buy little black stick-on circles that hide the lights. Better yet, remove the electronics altogether.
- Brisk exercise during the day, especially morning or early afternoon, helps promote sleep at night and makes you feel less drowsy during the day. If you exercise too close to bedtime, your revved up metabolism will make sleeping harder.
- Limit caffeine and other stimulants. Caffeine can affect your sleep for as long as 12 hours after consumption.
- Avoid big meals in the evening or eating within 2 hours of bedtime. Alcohol and too many liquids can also affect the quality of your sleep.
- Make sure your mattress, sheets and pillows are comfortable. Mattresses need to be replaced every 10 years and you should try out different types before purchasing. If a new mattress is not in your budget yet, try a high-quality mattress topper to extend the life of your existing mattress. Sheets should be carefully chosen for soften that will last through multiple washes. We recommend Cariloha for the superb quality of their products.
- Associate your bed with sleep or being with your significant other. Don’t work or watch TV in bed if you want to be able to relax and go to sleep quickly.
- Keep your room on the cool side. Getting overheated (or overly cold) leads to waking up and restless sleep.
- Turn off ALL media at least 1/2 hour before bed. Electronics, especially backlit devices, are stimulants and make it harder to get to sleep.
- Minimize sounds. If outside sounds disturb your sleep, consider earplugs or a white noise machine.
- Before going to your bedroom, make a to-do list for the morning (if you work from home, clean off your desk). This is especially important if you find yourself thinking about work when you go to bed, and what you need to get done the next day. Organizing and planning your agenda allows you to separate from it, knowing you’re ready and sleep better.
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Being in sync with your body’s natural circadian (sleep-wake cycle) rhythm is important to being able to sleep better. Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends. Limit naps to 15-20 minutes in the early afternoon.
- Before getting into bed, lay out your clothes for the morning, clean out your purse, set your alarm & stop thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow is ready for you, let it go.
- Develop your own bedtime routine with things that bring you joy and set your mind at ease. This could be a relaxation tape, soft music, a favorite book, a candle scenting your room, or just fresh sheets and warm pajamas. Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization of a place or event that always makes you feel peaceful (I imagine myself laying on the warm sand on my favorite beach in Hawaii). The idea is to find what works for you and then replicate it every night. Your mind will begin to rely on that routine and expect sleep at the end of it.
- Learn how to go back to sleep. When you get up to go to the bathroom or to get a glass of water, try not to let yourself be stimulated into a fully awakened state. When you go back to bed, take a few slow deep breaths to slide into sleep mode. Bring back that image of your special serene place. Even if you don’t immediately fall asleep, think about only about complete relaxation. That state of relaxed but not quite asleep is as beneficial to your body as being actually asleep.
A good night’s sleep is critical to stress relief, weight loss, productivity, mental sharpness, mood control and overall health. When the pressures of life keep you awake and tossing and turning all night, start creating new bedtime routines that will have you relaxed and waking up ready to seize the day! Click & Tweet!