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5 Ways to Promote Restful Sleep

Have you mastered the art of sleeping? Most of us haven’t. We all have nights when we go to bed way later than expected or just can’t seem to go to sleep at all. We lose track of time and have busy schedules—welcome to the beautiful and chaotic adventure called life. However, it’s still important to promote a restful sleep in whatever way you can. It only takes a small effort to make a big and positive impact. Here are five tips to help you get started.

1. Have a “Bedtime”

Okay, I know what you’re thinking—you’re not a child so the word “bedtime” shouldn’t even be part of your vocabulary unless directed towards one of your own kids. Hear me out though!

It’s important that you start getting ready for bed around the same time every evening so your body develops a healthy rhythm that will, in turn, help you have a good night’s sleep. You’re essentially training your body to understand that it’s time to decompress and relax before dozing off to sleep. Does this mean that you have to be in bed at 10pm on the dot every night? No, but it does mean that you should avoid going to bed at 10pm one night, then midnight, then 11pm…you get the idea.

2. Wake Up Around the Same Time Every Day

I know how tempting it is to completely ignore your alarm clock on the weekends but it will benefit you in the long run if you wake up around the same time every day. Again, this isn’t an exact science. If you wake up at 6:30am for work, feel free to sleep in until 7:30am! Live a little! But try not to make a habit of sleeping in until noon because your body will be confused and your internal clock will be completely off.

Now, I don’t believe this rule should apply when you’re sick because your body will need extra sleep. You get a free pass for those days!

wake up feeling rested

3. Listen to Relaxing Sounds

If you need absolute silence to fall asleep then you don’t have to listen to these sounds during your actual sleep time. You can simply listen to sounds of the ocean or crickets chirping while you’re getting ready for bed. Incorporate these sounds into your nighttime routine of putting your pajamas on and brushing your teeth. It might sound strange but it works!

In a LiveScience article, Orfeu Buxton, an associate professor of Biobehavioral Health at Pennsylvania State University, explains exactly why these sounds, particularly ones which include water, are so beneficial: “These slow, whooshing noises are the sounds of non-threats, which is why they work to calm people. It’s like they’re saying: ‘Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry.’”

4. No Bright Screens Before Bed

Checking your Instagram on your cell phone right before bed isn’t the best thing to do when you’re under the covers and about to go to sleep. The glow from the device tells your brain to stay awake instead of promoting healthy relaxation and the natural release of melatonin. We know how tempting it can be to go YouTube crazy but save those puppy videos for earlier in the day. All you should be doing with your cell phone is setting your alarm for the morning.

5. Turn Down Your Thermostat

It’s difficult to fall asleep when your room is too hot. You’ll end up tossing and turning instead of enjoying your eight hours! 

The Wall Street Journal reports that sleeping at about 65 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended.

Dr. Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, explains that “people tend to set their ambient house or bedroom temperature a little higher than is actually optimal for sleep. If our core temperature is too high the brain cannot easily make the switch from being awake to being asleep, or create the best quality sleep.”

So, turn down that thermostat and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated!

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