A good night’s sleep?
Feels like a distant memory for this mama — between the frequent midnight wake ups and the very often early wakings of our two year old – I really do miss sleeping through the night undisturbed and the feeling of awakening naturally in the morning.
When it comes to sleep – quality counts just as much as quantity. Although I’m not consistently sleeping 8 hours per night, I try to make sure my pre-sleep/bedtime routine is solid to optimize the quality of zzz’s I’m getting – keeping me productive and full of energy all day long.
How you feel during your waking hours depends on how well you sleep.
Here are a few tips that will help you sleep better so you can feel rested and refreshed.
Sleep better tip #1: Get in sync with your body’s natural rhythms
Supporting your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle (or circadian rhythm) is important for achieving good sleep. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Sticking to a consistent sleep-wake schedule will set your body’s internal clock and optimize your sleep quality.
Sleep better tip #2: Create a bedtime routine
A peaceful bedtime routine sends a powerful signal to your brain that its time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses. Avoid bright screens within 2 hours of bedtime. This includes the screen on your phone, tablet, computer or TV.
Many people use television to wind down at the end of the day, however many shows are more stimulating rather than relaxing. Try listening to music or audio books instead.
Sleep better tip #3: Get regular exercise
Studies show that regular exercisers sleep better and feel less sleepy during the day. Exercise improves the symptoms of insomnia and increases the time spent in deep, restorative stages of sleep.
Sleep better tip #4: Improve your sleep environment
Small changes to your sleep environment can make a big difference to your quality of sleep.
Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room (around 18˚C). A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep.
In addition, if you can’t avoid or eliminate noise from city traffic, loud neighbours or barking dogs try masking it with a fan or white noise. Earplugs may also help.
Sleep is something we all need and most of us fail to get on a regular basis. When we don’t sleep enough or sleep well, our productivity and behaviour are affected. In addition, lack of sleep is associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and depression.1
Follow these easy tips and a better night’s sleep can be in your future soon!
1 Statistics Canada, 2005 General Social Survey