I know, I know. I’m the last person who you should come to ask for tips on how to sleep better because my sleep-schedule is somewhere after 2:30AM. I blame it on my creative side of the brain because I’m always coming up with new ideas and concepts for the things I love to do.
But in spite of my erratic sleep-schedule, I’m able to get a good 7-8 hours in, and I can also switch to a different sleep-schedule when I need to wake up earlier than usual. It’s very flexible that way.
So when one of my Twitter-fam asked me for tips on how to change her sleep-schedule, I started looking. And what better way to start Self-Care & Self-Love September than a good sleep-schedule plan? Here are some ways that can help you sleep better!
1. Darken your room.
I know that this sounds like a piece of basic advice, but getting black-out curtains or comparatively dark curtains can help you block out any disturbing or distracting light entering your room that might keep you from sleeping early. Or if you’re not comfortable with a dark room, switch to dim lights.
For the sciencey folks: A dark environment makes your body produce melatonin (which tells your brain that it’s time to sleep. It’s also why rainy days make you drowsy.)
Worry and stress can also cause sleeplessness, sometimes. Regulating your breathing relaxes both your body and brain. When you’re calm and relaxed, it’s easier to put worrying and stressful thoughts aside, and give yourself some well-deserved rest to help yourself recharge.
For the sciencey folks: Stress reduces the amount of melatonin that your body produces, and prevents you from going to sleep. Meditation helps keep stress at bay and regulates the production of melatonin in your body.
3. Chamomile tea.
Personally my favourite. Chamomile tea is soothing to your body and mind and does not contain caffeine (which is great, because caffeine does not help when you’re trying to sleep). Chamomile tea also helps reduce stress and anxiety (it’s anti-anxie-tea, geddit?) and helps you sleep better.
For the sciencey folks: Chamomile tea contains an antioxidant called apigenin that tells the receptors in your brain that it’s time to go to sleep.
4. Sound machine/ apps/ playlists.
If complete silence stresses you out or makes you anxious, then you can invest in a good sound machine or app that has a variety of soothing sounds that help you sleep better. Personally, I prefer the app ‘Rainy Mood’, but apps like ‘Calm’ or ‘Headspace’ are also great options. Or, you could just make yourself a soothing playlist.
For the sciencey folks: Music can lower your heart rate, and reduce stress and anxiety— all of which promote better sleep.
5. Take a warm bath.
You know how in most TV shows, a character passes out after they’ve taken a long, warm bath? It’s true. It happens. Warm baths and showers have always been associated with relaxation and better sleep.
For the sciencey folks: Our body’s core temperature needs to drop by at least 2-3° for us to be able to sleep. Taking a warm bath and stepping into a colder environment helps your body drop temperature faster and slows your metabolism rates, making you feel sleepy.
So, these are my go-to hacks when I want to be able to sleep better. I hope these helped you at least a little bit. Wishing you a good night and sweet dreams!
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