How to Get Better Sleep5 Minute Read
Wakefulness is tethered to sleep! What you do during the day and before bedtime make a huge impact on how you sleep at night. Your body works on a 24-hour schedule based on hormonal control. Your activities during the day set your hormones for sleeptime. Let’s find out what you can do to improve your sleep and make your body healthier.
Cool room temperature
Make sure that your bedroom temperature is 5 degrees below what you are normally comfortable with during the day. You can use layering blankets to adjust your temperature during the night, if needed.
Stop using screens before bedtime
Screens are a killer for your circadian rhythm as the blue light from screens tells your brain that it is daytime. Signaling to your brain that there is sunlight is confusing to the brain. Your brain “lives” in darkness, so it has to rely on what your eyes are telling it!
So, stop using screens 30 minutes to an hour before your bedtime. It really can make a huge difference. This is also a great way to calm down the mind instead of being bombarded with all the world’s noise that is available on your phone!
Keep a consistent bedtime
Routine is great for your body to get used to something! Sleep is no different. Keep your bedtime routine consistent - do you shower before bed? Do you read a book? Do you meditate or write in a journal? Get a good routine down to wind your brain and body down before bedtime.
For the same reason screens are detrimental to quality sleep, you need to have your room dark. Light from lamps, street lights, and other bright lights outside of your bedroom will all tell the brain that it is daytime. Turn your lamps and screens off during sleep and get blackout shades if needed.
Stop drinking caffeine by 12pm
Caffeine is a stimulant that gets removed from the body via the liver. For some people, this process can take longer than others. To be safe, don’t have any caffeine after 12pm to make sure you get a good night’s rest.
You can start to experiment with this time once you feel good about your sleep. Some people don’t metabolize caffeine well, while others can.
No late night snacks
Food affects your hormones! Sugar and alcohol can especially change your hormones and this will affect how well you sleep. Finish your dinner and be done with eating until the next morning.
No light in the middle of the night
Studies show that light during the hours of 11 P.M. to 4 A.M. decreases the release of dopamine, which is a feel good neurotransmitter. Not only can this make you feel sad, low dopamine levels also inhibit learning. If you do wake up in the middle of the night, resist picking up your phone!
Daily sunlight routine
Get sunlight in your eyes when you wake up in the morning and try to catch sunlight around sunset time each day. For each time of the day, you only need a few minutes of daylight, but you need to be outside. Standing next to your window is not nearly as effective as being outside.
Amazingly, your brain is able to register the angle of the sun in the sky and this helps regulate your 24-hour clock. Get that morning and evening light, even if it is cloudy outside!
Sleep is 100% necessary for a healthy body - start implementing the above recommendations to improve your sleep. These will all help you get into a healthy 24 hour circadian routine. It usually takes at least 3-4 days for your body to start to adjust, so be patient as you start out. Putting the effort in will always be WORTH IT!