How to Get Better Sleep
If you’ve ever had poor sleep or insomnia, then you probably noticed how a lack of sleep can lead to brain fog, anxiety, and overall poor health. It’s no understatement to say that getting a good night’s sleep is important — it’s essential for supporting healthy brain function and helping us feel refreshed and at our best. Adults should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but that’s not always easy due to a variety of reasons such as busy lifestyles and stress. Luckily, there are a lot of things you can try to help get better sleep — with everything from aromatherapy to special sheets to experiment with, make finding what works for you part of your self-care routine. Here are things to try in order to get better sleep:
Find the Right Temperature
According to studies, the best temperature for restful sleep in adults is approximately 65 degrees. This is because our bodies are programmed to expect a lower temperature in the evening, so keeping your bedroom at a lower temp may send a signal that it’s time to sleep. This makes sense when you think about how a warm room may cause you to feel sweaty and uncomfortable, leading to restlessness. Use fans or a/c to help regulate your room. You may also want to consider special bedding — there are a variety of fabrics available now that are known to have cooling properties, such as sheets made out of bamboo or other natural fibers.
Certain essential oils can help promote relaxation and sleep. Use a diffuser or room spray, or simply dab oil on your wrists, temples, and under your nose if you prefer. Lavender, Chamomile, Bergamot, and Ylang Ylang are just a few known to have calming properties. Try a few and see which help you get the much-needed zzzs you deserve!
Turn off Electronics Before Bed
It’s important to give yourself a digital detox in order to prepare for sleep, as devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets emit blue-light which can reduce the natural production of melatonin, a hormone needed for sleep. While turning off devices any sooner than when we shut our eyes can be challenging, try shutting them off hour before bed, and use the time to develop a relaxing pre-bedtime routine.
Unwind Before Bed
Taking time to unwind before hitting the sack can be easier said than done! With work schedules, family obligations, and busy to-do lists, sometimes it feels like there’s no time to relax. If you need to, clear your calendar and add an hour before bed to do some stretches, meditation, reading, or any activity that helps clear your mind so you have a better chance of falling asleep peacefully.
Create a Restful Space
If you can, turn your bedroom into a device-free zone, that way you won’t be tempted to look at screens before bed. Paint the walls a peaceful color, add plants and decorations that make you smile, and purchase quality mattress and bedding — after all, you spend a good portion of your life in bed, so it’s worth the investment!
Reasons to Get Good Sleep
If the tips above sound like too much work, review this list to remind yourself why good sleep is important, and that you are worth the time it takes to develop improved, healthy sleep routines. A restful night of sleep can:
- Improve emotional responses
- Lead to reduced inflammation
- Improve immune system functions
- Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Improve athletic performance and recovery
- Decrease risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes
- Help with better focus and cognition function
- Regulate appetite hormones leading to eating fewer calories