Sleep is critical to your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. And, we all know how it feels to have a night of poor sleep – you’re groggy, grumpy, and not feeling or looking your best. To avoid a morning full of sadness and pessimism, it’s time to figure out the cause behind your insomnia and take steps to ensure that you’ll have the best sleep ever. Keep reading our tips below to learn some ways to practice better habits that will lead to a better night of sleep.
Talk to a professional if stress is causing chronic issues
First and foremost, it’s critical to talk to a sleep specialist or therapist if you feel that your sleep issues are caused by mental health problems like depression or anxiety. An online therapist may be able to help you pinpoint unhealthy patterns of behavior, and establish new, healthy habits. In turn, you’ll experience lower levels of stress and may be able to reduce your symptoms of both depression and anxiety.
Create a self-care ritual to do every night before bed
Look, we all know that it’s incredibly tempting to scroll through social media before going to bed – it’s fun to look, very entertaining, and endless content is available. Unfortunately, staring at your phone before bed is one of the worst things you can do.
So, replace your habit of scrolling through your phone’s newsfeeds by creating a self-care ritual. Your self-care ritual can be very simple and just involve a long bath with a bath bomb and maybe even a glass of wine. Or, you can read a good book with incense burning. Whatever activity you choose, make sure that it allows you to fully wind down and relax.
Don’t forget to work out during the day
One of the first activities that gets the boot during extra busy time periods is working out. But exercise is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re actually sleepy when bedtime rolls around. So, try to incorporate at least thirty minutes of activity during the day.
Need some ideas for ways to exercise indoors or simple outdoor activities? Read a few of our suggestions below:
- Jump rope
- Running around the neighborhood for a few miles
- Walking outside
- Running up stairs
Expose yourself to sunlight during the day
When you wake up in the morning, make sure that you expose yourself to bright light. Not only will it make you feel more awake, but it will also help you be more productive. During the day, try to get out in the sunshine so your body has the chance to produce Vitamin D (the easiest way to get this vitamin our body can’t make itself!).
In addition, exposure to sunlight during the daytime helps to establish strong circadian rhythms so your body will be ready for sleep when it gets darker.
Try a sleep aid that’s non-habit forming
There are so many great sleep aids available on the market – some are even so delicious that you might look forward to bedtime. Chocolate sleep aid, anyone? Many sleep aids contain melatonin, which is a hormone that your body already produces naturally. Unfortunately, many people don’t make enough within their own bodies, but many sleep aids contain it which allow you to fall asleep more easily.
Avoid blue light at bedtime
Blue light is one of the main enemies of your sleep. It not only sends bright light directly into your eyes, but it can also cause eye damage. Avoid using electronics two hours before bedtime to avoid messing with your circadian rhythm. If you decide you want to risk it, you can still use electronics but use them while wearing blue light blocking glasses. While this type of eyewear may not block every single ray of blue light, it can immensely cut down on the amount that you’re exposing yourself to.
Falling asleep is difficult for many people. But by taking the time to address the true cause of your insomnia and making changes in your waking life, you can take back control and enjoy restful sleep again. Make sure that you exercise during the day, keep tabs on your stress levels, give yourself adequate time to wind down, and avoid blue light.