Sleep is essential for our well-being. After a few (mostly) sleepless nights, my body and mind have finally come back to their more natural circadian rhythm. I realize the importance of getting a good night’s sleep to be creative and productive during the day.
While intermittent sleep issues are common, they tend to come and go as stressors in our daily lives change. A lot of people think they can function just fine on a few hours of sleep a night, but that’s not really the case. Sleep deprivation can lead to all sorts of problems, like decreased productivity, poor decision making, car accidents, and a breakdown in our overall well-being.
Adults should aim for seven to eight hours per night, though everyone’s needs vary. If you find yourself struggling to stay asleep or waking up frequently throughout the night, consider making some small changes to your bedtime routine.
So how do you make sure you’re getting enough sleep? There’s no one answer that fits everyone, but from my research, here are seven tips that might help:
1) Make your bedroom dark and quiet: Get rid of any distractions, especially screens like TVs or phones. This is my number one because it’s the demon I wrestle with most often. I have a few USB devices, their associated LED lights, an Alexa Show, and either an iPad or iPhone on my nightstand. The trick is getting these screens away from me. I’ve moved my Apple devices to their respective chargers in another room. Alexa, after I set my morning wake, I simply tell her “Alexa, turn off your screen” and she goes dark until the morning. To complete the package, I use a sleep mask. If you’re like me and you sometimes want to listen to a binaural beats playlist or meditation as you drift off to sleep, I use a sleep mask with embedded Bluetooth headphones so I can get the best effect.
2) Follow a routine: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This will help your body get into a routine and make it easier to fall asleep at night.
3) Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed: Caffeine and alcohol can make it harder to fall asleep. Try to avoid drinking coffee or alcohol within six hours of going to bed.
4) Avoid working late nights: Working late can disrupt your natural sleep rhythm. Try to finish up your work by 6pm so you have plenty of time to relax before bed.
5) Exercise regularly: Exercise helps improve your overall health and can also help you fall asleep faster at night. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day. Do not do cardio or heavy exercise in the evenings as this will elevate your heartrate, likely disturbing your ability to fall asleep as well as having an impact on your overall quality of rest with regards to heart rate variability among other metrics.
6) Practice some relaxation techniques before bedtime. Light stretches, yoga, or meditation can help calm your mind and body down. Personally, I enjoy listening to a few select guided meditations available on a YouTube channel named PowerThoughts Meditation Club. I especially like their meditations on gratitude and abundance.
7) Try some Chelated Magnesium (Magnesium Glycinate). This is better than taking a Melatonin supplement because Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland. You don’t really want to supplement directly with hormones themselves, rather use hormonal pre-cursors and let the body retain control of its own manufacturing. While I don’t believe that Chelated Magnesium is a pre-cursor directly involved in Melatonin production, it does reduce anxiety and helps to maintain normal heart rhythms among other benefits. Essentially, Chelated Magnesium helps the body relax to stay asleep longer, gaining that deeper rest.
Following these tips should help you get into a good sleep routine and start getting that better rest that we all need to maximize our daily reach.
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