Are you a night owl or a go-to-bed-early type?
If you’re finding that you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, you might want to ramp up your sleep hygiene practices.
Studies show that a lack of sleep contributes to feelings of stress in the body. Elevated stress and high cortisol can lead to inflammation, weight gain, lowered immunity, and a whole cascade of symptoms.
The Sleep Foundation defines sleep hygiene as
a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.sleepfoundation.org
Here are a few things to check off when it comes to sleep hygiene:
- set a reminder on your phone to start your bedtime rituals a good hour or two before heading to bed
- avoid watching the news and checking emails before (or while in) bed
- release and reduce stress with a quick, guided meditation from apps like Calm or Headspace
- avoid stimulants after dinner, like caffeine and sugary treats
- wear a sleep mask or install black-out blinds. When the room is dark, your body can produce melatonin to fall asleep
- try brain dumping: keep a journal or notebook beside your bed, and write down everything that is on your mind. This prevents it from coming up when you are trying to fall asleep
- wear earplugs if you sleep beside someone who snores or you live in a high-traffic area
- avoid foods that might cause you indigestion. This includes heavy meals before bed
- steep some relaxing herbal tea and run a bath with epsom salts which relax both our muscular and nervous systems. Our favourite herbal teas are passionflower, chamomile, lavender, hops, and valerian
- supplements, like magnesium, and adaptogens, like holy basil, work for some. Be cautious, when taking herbs and supplements, as some can interfere with medications
Do you have a favourite sleep hygiene practice? Tell us about it!
A good night’s sleep leads to a good mood tomorrow 🙂