Sleep is one of those things I can never get enough of, and there’s nothing worse than having a full day ahead of you, and hardly being able to keep your eyelids open!
It’s weird how life works, because as a kid I despised nap time. In kindergarten I always reluctantly retired to my woven multi-colored mat, when what I really wanted was to finger paint, or run around the playground. Now I’d do unspeakable things for nap time during the day!
Since I highly doubt nap time is going to become a mandated part of our adult work days, I decided to start incorporating some habits that may help me get to sleep more quickly, and stay asleep longer.
Tips for Better Sleep
Be Consistent: This can be tough, especially with the crazy-all-the-place-schedule I have, but going to bed, and waking up at the same time everyday can really improve your sleep. That’s not to say you can’t sleep in every now and then, but maybe only an extra 30 minutes-1 hour and not until noon!
Disconnect: Turn.off.your.devices. I cannot stress this enough, and I’ll be the first to admit I’m a repeat offender that’s trying very hard to get better! I often bring my phone to bed with the intention of checking social media, and setting it aside immediately after. No. It’s a trap. Don’t do it! Take it from someone that has ended up spending an extra 3 hours on their phone-don’t bring it to bed at all.
Clear Your Mind: This can be done a in a variety ways; reading, praying, meditating. Whichever way you choose, the goal is the same: to clear your mind, and get out of your own head. I can’t tell you how many times my own thoughts have kept me awake at night! Focusing on something else, like a prayer about what I’m thankful for that day helps to ward off daunting and stressful thoughts, and get my mind right for catching some Z’s.
Hot Tea: Hot tea is great to relax the mind and body, and just put you in a generally zen mood. It also has loads of awesome benefits! Keep in mind that unless it’s decaf, it can have an opposite effect depending on how you respond to caffeine. So, grab some decaf green tea, a good book, and snuggle up in the blankets!
Bathe/Shower: While some people think showering/bathing at night makes it harder to go to bed, I’ve always loved showering in the evenings because it makes me sleepy, and ready for rest. I think the key is not to shower too close to when you’re planning on turning in for the night so that your body has time to cool down. Being hot and sweaty doesn’t make getting to sleep easy! So, hit the shower an hour or so before bed, and I can almost promise that being fresh, and clean will set you up perfectly for a good night’s sleep.