7 Sleep Tips for Incredible RestNov 23, 2022
Up until the last few hundred years, every civilization woke and slept by the sun. But ever since light bulbs and screens came along, our bodies don’t use the sun as their guide for sleep anymore. The result is night after night of fragmented sleep.
Our bodies need rhythms to follow to help them know when to administer the hormones that regulate sleep and wakefulness. This was the sun’s role, but artificial light has taken its place. The solution isn’t to throw out your phone and cut your power line (though going off grid does sound pretty fun).
The solution is a simple, sentence-long principle: “stimulate during the day, and rest at night.” It sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how easy it is to over-stimulate before bedtime in our modern age.
To counter this, here are 7 simple tips to help you get back to an incredible sleep experience.
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Tip #1: Set a Bedtime and Keep it ⏰
Your body can handle gradual changes over time, like the slight lengthening and shortening of days throughout the year. What your body struggles with is abrupt, drastic changes—like going to bed two hours later from one night to the next. Your body is an incredible creation, but like certain people we all know, it wants to know exactly what’s going to happen next, and freaks out if something changes.
The solution? Have a set bedtime, and stick with it as closely as you can. That way, dropping into bed becomes a signal for your body to shut down for the night.
Tip #2: Get Outside ☀️
Sunlight helps your body produce the hormone cortisol, which is what makes you feel awake. While your body naturally produces this hormone shortly before it thinks you’re going to wake up (another reason why your body needs predictable patterns), any boost you can give it early in the day is beneficial. Even just a few minutes outdoors can make a difference.
Plus, getting outside usually means you’re moving around. Which takes us to tip #3.
Tip #3: Exercise 💪
We’ve all heard that exercising helps us sleep. There are several reasons for this.
First, exercising is a stimulant, making you feel more awake, and helping you stay awake. This is why it’s a bad idea to exercise too close to bedtime.
Exercise releases hormones like serotonin that help regulate your body’s circadian rhythm.
Your internal temperature rises during exercise, and as your body cools, it produces a relaxing effect as the day progresses, leaving you ready for rest by bedtime. This reinforces the “stimulate during the day, rest at night” principle.
Tip #4: Watch What You Eat 👀
Certain foods like caffeine and spicy food are stimulants, so they’ll naturally throw off your body’s rhythm if you have them too late in the day. 😬
Eating anything too close to your bedtime can impact your sleep as well. Your body slows its digestive process by 50% at night, so aside from the risk of gaining weight, eating before bed causes your body to divert its energy from rest to digesting your food.
As a best practice, have your last meal 3 hours before your bedtime.
Tip #5: Minimize Lighting 🕯
Our bodies were meant to turn in with the sun. That being the case, lighting and sleep don’t mix. Research has shown that sleeping in as much darkness as possible can help your body experience a full, quality night of sleep.
It would be nice if just closing your eyes did the trick, but recent studies have shown that eyelids can’t block out enough light to prevent sleep disruptions. 💡
With this in mind, turn off all of your lights, and use blackout curtains and sleep masks to eliminate any other lighting.
Tip #6: Stop Using Devices 30 Minutes Before Bed 📲
Remember how the sun helps your body produce cortisol? Guess what? Your laptop or phone’s blue light helps produce it too. The problem is obvious. You don’t want to be producing a hormone designed to help you stay awake right before you try to fall asleep.
A great solution is to stop using your devices 30 minutes before hopping into bed. Instead, spend that time performing a nightly ritual to prepare your body for rest. 🧘🏼♀️
Tip #7: Lower Your Room’s Temperature 🛏
As part of its shutdown process, your body naturally drops its temperature while you sleep. Lowering the temperature in your room can help your body reach its ideal temperature faster, allowing it to focus more on repair and your quality of sleep instead of fighting the heat.
Setting your bedroom temperature to between 65 and 68 degrees fahrenheit at night is an ideal way to help your body prepare for sleep.
How to start using these sleep tips 😴
➞ From the above list, choose one of the 7 tips to integrate into your day.
➞ For a more in depth look at each of the 7 tips, check out our Simple Sleep Program.
➞ Watch our Sleep Tips | Top 7 Proven Tips to get Quality Sleep Youtube video for a different take on the same topic.
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