Sleep is one of the most important things you can do to improve your productivity, kindness, and overall well-being.
Have you ever had a rough night sleep? We all have, but are you one of the many people who have chronic sleep troubles? According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation only 30% of people have either a ‘very good’ or an ‘excellent’ night sleep. Without sufficient rest you will be much more agitated, your relationships suffer, your driving suffers, your productivity decreases, and so much more. Here are a few simple ways to get a better night’s sleep.
7 tips to help you get a better night sleep:
Go with the flow. Start winding down at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed. Your body produces melatonin naturally and it starts production as the sun goes down, telling your body it’s time to get some rest. If you fight that natural process your chances of having a good night sleep decrease.
Turn off any blue light coming from electronics, especially in the bedroom. The blue light everyone refers to comes from your cell phones, computers, and TV. Make sure they are off or they have an amber tint over the harsh blue light that comes out of the screen. This blue light has been shown to hinder melatonin production.
Don’t drink caffeine after 3-4pm. We all know caffeine gives us a little boost. We typically feel it for a short amount of time, but the truth is that the effects of caffeine can last 4-6 hours. It’s the last thing you’ll want in your system when you put your head on your pillow.
Use blackout blinds. My wife and I bought these when our daughter was born. Originally, she slept in our room, but now our little nugget sleeps in her own room. We still have the original blackout blinds in our master bedroom. I recently started pulling them down and noticed a big change in my sleep. I’m sleeping deeper and longer.
Make your last meal 3-4hrs before your go to bed. Your digestive system works through the night and it’s quite difficult to digest dinner, so it’s always night to give yourself time to digest before you go right to bed. You will feel much better.
Practice some restorative yoga poses. There is a great pose called Viparita Karani. It’s simply lying on your back with your legs up the wall. You can do this right on your bed, just flip yourself around and put your legs up, let gravity do the work to drain the legs and relax. You will feel a difference.
Meditate. I can’t emphasize this enough. Meditation is one of the greatest ways to reduce stress and increase energy and productivity levels. Sometimes a short meditation before bed is all you need to ensure a restful night’s sleep. If you’re new to meditation try my free intro course here.
These are just a few simple ways to begin improving your sleep. Most of them are about creating some time time to relax before you actually go to bed. Many of us go, go, go, and then crash. Be careful of that lifestyle, it will catch up to you. If you heed some of the advice above, you too will begin sleeping like a baby! As always, I’m here to help! Find me @teddymcdonald.
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