Who gets 8 hours of sleep a night? I’d like to shake your hand if you do. And I would like to know all of your secrets, especially if you have young kids. By the time I actually lay down in bed, there is alot of tossing and turning, and then frequent waking, and staring at the clock. Anyone else? By the time morning comes, I feel like I never slept, and then in order to feel like I have energy, I have to depend on coffee or energy drinks just to get to 9 am. The day just drags on, and I feel exhausted, I can’t wait to crawl in to bed, expecting to fall asleep fast, but NOPE! So what gives??? How do we unwind and get our bodies into the right frame of mind for sleep? How do we shut down and drift off?
How do we go from this:
- Stick to a sleep schedule! Pick a bed time and stick to it. Also, try to wake up at the same time every day. Having a consistent wake and sleep pattern trains your body to fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
- Exercise: But avoid doing it too close to bedtime. Working out improves the length and quality of your sleep! It signals your brain to release sleep-inducing melatonin, so then you’ll get drowsy. But experts say to avoid doing it at least 4 hours from bedtime. I guess I should start exercising!
- Cut all caffeine out after 2 pm! Yes people. This includes ALL caffeine. Chocolate, coffee, tea, soda…………… Caffeine is a stimulant that stays in your system for about 8 hours, so if you have a cappuccino after dinner, come bedtime, it’ll either prevent your brain from entering deep sleep or stop you from falling asleep altogether.
- Start writing in a journal. Many people, myself included, complain that they can’t shut their mind down at night. So, writing down your worries at night should help with that.
- Take time to wind down. I have a hard time with this. Taken from Prevention Magazine:
“Sleep is not an on-off switch,” says Dr. Breus. “It’s more like slowly easing your foot off the gas.” Give your body time to transition from your active day to bedtime drowsiness by setting a timer for an hour before bed and divvying up the time as follows: First 20 minutes: Prep for tomorrow (pack your bag, set out your clothes). Next 20: Take care of personal hygiene (brush your teeth, moisturize your face). Last 20: Relax in bed, reading with a small, low-wattage book light or practicing deep breathing.
- Use your essential oils to help you sleep and wind down! I run my diffuser every single night! And I also apply my essential oils topically, to both my temples, and my feet! i use a variety of oils depending on what I feel that I need. I really depend on Lavender most nights. And Vetiver. That seems to be my go-to oil lately. My favorite blend to diffuse is Grounding Blend, Vetiver and Lavender. Something about that combination just brings me to that place where I can close my eyes and fall asleep. It’s just so calming and relaxing.
- TURN OFF YOUR TV!!! I added this one because I am a big believer in essential oils, yes! However, we depend WAY TOO MUCH on TV to fall asleep!!!!!! It has NO PURPOSE in our bedroom!! And this is coming from someone WHO HAS ONE IN HERS! We should not be sleeping with one on! For those of you who do, TURN IT OFF.
- Snack on cheese and crackers before bed. The ideal nighttime nosh combines carbohydrates and either calcium or a protein that contains the amino acid tryptophan—studies show that both of these combos boost serotonin, a naturally occurring brain chemical that helps you feel calm. Enjoy your snack about an hour before bedtime so that the amino acids have time to reach your brain.
- Use a white noise machine, or listen to classical music. Sound machines designed to help you sleep produce a low-level soothing noise. These can help you tune out barking dogs, the TV downstairs, or any other disturbances so you can fall asleep and stay asleep. Liv sleeps with a sound machine, and Luca sleeps to classical music, and both of them sleep the best. And I sleep really well now because Luca’s monitor is on, and I hear his music in my room, and it is just so soothing, so between the essential oils and the music, it’s just so nice
- No alcohol 2 hours before bedtime! You might think it helps you sleep, but it actually disrupts your sleep pattern!
Maybe if I follow my own advice, I’ll sleep like a baby tonight! I certainly could use a good nights sleep! Sweet dreams!
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