Wellness Wednesday: A Better Sleep for A Better You

“This position isn’t right.”

“This blanket is too hot.”

“This mattress is too hard.”

Sometimes sleep can feel like a monotonous children’s story. Whether we haven’t rotated our mattress in a while or haven’t found the sweet spot to fall asleep in, to wake up refreshed — there are several factors that play into why we can’t seem to get a restful night of sleep… and a few of them might surprise you.

Increase Exposure To Light During The Day

Listen, I hear ya, okay? It doesn’t make much sense to expose yourself to light if you’re trying to get more or better sleep. Your body has a natural rhythm of keeping time and if affects your hormones, brain, and body by telling you when it’s time for bed. If you bask in the sun all day (or most of the day) then your body’s rhythm stays healthy and you sleep better.

 

Reduce Blue Light Exposure At Night

Blue light? What the heck is that?! Blue light, my dear, is the light that’s reflected off of your phone, TV, tablet, computer, and really any device you’re probably using before bed. Blue light acts like regular exposure light we get during the day, the difference being it tricks our brain into thinking it’s day time when it isn’t. The killer is that our brain identifies blue as a happy, healthy, calming color so you’re given the illusion of winding down for the night. Do your morning self a favor and turn off the electronics before bed. Instead, opt for a book, meditation, or a board game!

 

Resist Hitting The Snooze Button

Stop! Get your hand off that button! I know how tempting it is to hit the snooze and get those five sweet extra minutes of sleep. I promise you, it’s so much easier to set an alarm and head to bed a bit earlier than normal. Waking up to a harsh alarm that has a beep so loud, you think your head might explode, isn’t fun. There are so many apps and devices out there that have the capability to slowly raise the level of sound or music to gracefully wake you up. Alexa and Apple both have the technology built into their systems while Android has several apps to choose from with dozens of sounds to slowly bring you out of your slumber.

 

Say “NO” To Naps

I will be the first to say that I absolutely ADORE naps. I could sleep literally any time, any place. But, if you’re someone who’s looking for a well rested night’s sleep, I have some bad news for you. Naps are now a thing of the past! Sure, a 10-30 minute “baby nap” is okay, they’re even good for you and help give you a boost of energy. Elongated naps don’t do anything for us except throw off our rhythm and that isn’t good for anyone. So, try to keep the snoozin’ to a minimum. Your morning self will thank you.

 

Optimize Your Sleep Environment

One of the most important steps when it comes to better sleep is getting the most out of where you’re sleeping. This is the part where you get to be selfish. Take time to wind down from the day. A great way to optimize your bedroom is to keep the room anywhere from 67-65 degrees. In most cases, light exposure makes it hard to fall asleep so invest in an eye mask to block out every bit of light. You know how babies love white noise? So do adults! Turn on a fan or put the air conditioning on low for the perfect amount of noise to lull you to sleep. Sweet Dreams!