3 Ways to Improve Your Sleep

In today’s overscheduled world, it’s a badge of honor to be exhausted. We brag about how busy we are, how little we sleep and how hard we work. It feels lazy and selfish to go to bed early or take a nap, but I’m here to tell you Sleep is where it’s at! Not enough messes up basically everything, but better sleep can HELP mood, focus, energy and even weight loss. If you’re finding some areas of sleep are better (falling asleep faster) but others are worse (waking more frequently) know this is normal as hormonal rhythms shift. According to the National Sleep Foundation, if you are between the ages of 18-64 you should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night for optimal health.

Favorite tricks for getting the best night’s sleep:

1-PRE-BED HABBITS – The “blue lights” emanating from your smartphone, tablet or television are especially disruptive at night, suppressing melatonin secretion and messing with your sleep. Your best practice is to have zero screen-time in the hour before bed. Besides, You don’t need to read unsettling on Facebook/Twitter/Email right before you go to bed anyway. It’s also ideal to finish all exercise sessions at least 3 hours before bed -especially high intensity activity, which can ramp up your cortisol production when they should be at their low. Finish eating your meals at least 2 hours before bed time.

2-YOUR BEDTIME ENVIRONMENT – Studies show you sleep is best in a cool, dark room. Hang blackout curtains, remove or turn off all electronics and if you sleep with your phone in the room make sure it is on “airplane mode”. Better yet, don’t got to bed with your phone at all! Designate a charging station in a different room of the house, maybe it’s the room that is furthest away from your bedrooms.  

3-ESTABLISH A ROUTINE – Setting a nightly routine can help your body know it’s time for bed. Maybe is a bath with Epsom salts and peace and calming oil, meditation, prayer, reading a good book, a cup of herbal tea (Sleepy Time), gentle stretching or yoga, placing a diffuser in your bedroom and use lavender or cedarwood essential oil. Maybe you have supplements you take before bedtime each night. A couple of my favorites to take before bed are melatonin, magnesium, omega 3 and magnesium. Whatever you do, at the end of the day count your blessings and consciously forgive yourself and others for hurts accumulated during the day to unwind and prepare yourself for a good night’s rest.

Lisa McQuillensleep, rest, stress