Sleep is an essential part of our lives and is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, the CDC reports that inadequate sleep has a negative impact on mental health, often increasing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Sleep like a baby again with these helpful tips for getting a good night’s rest.
Be Mindful of Lighting
Our circadian rhythm conditions all of us to sleep when it’s dark and wake when it’s light. If you live in the north with long sunlight hours in the summer and tedious, dark winters, this can severely disrupt your natural sleep schedule. That said, even indoor lighting can impact our internal clock. Set a reminder to begin using low lighting in the evenings, ideally 2-3 hours before bed. Ambient lighting from softer sources like table lamps can help your brain unwind and disconnect as you get ready for a good night’s sleep.
Have an Early Dinner
Breakfast lovers — you’re going to love this next tip! Large meals before bed can often cause sleep disturbances that range from trouble falling asleep to poor-quality sleep. The CDC recommends avoiding large meals just before bed, as well as steering clear of caffeine and alcohol. Aim to finish your dinner at least three hours before bedtime, and keep it light. Then you can treat yourself to a large indulgent breakfast to get your day rolling.
Try Bedtime Meditation
Take 10-15 minutes before bed for mindful meditation where you relax and just focus on your breathing, giving yourself permission to do nothing. Try the 4-7-8 method by inhaling through your nose to the count of four, holding for seven, and exhaling to the count of eight. Need a little help focusing your meditation routine? Try a mindfulness app such as Calm with guided meditations and sleepy time stories for adults.