Sleep is essential. We all need it. It gives our body and mind time to recharge, and prepares us for the next day. Getting good quality sleep, however, is a completely different story. I’ve had my fair share of waking up feeling groggy and grumpy due to a restless night, which definitely has had a negative impact on how my day goes. Furthermore, a lack of sleep can also be detrimental to both our physical and mental health:
weakened immune system
issues with concentrating and thinking
increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease
If you find yourself struggling to get a good night’s worth of rest, here are some techniques you can test out to help fix that:
Put away the screen
Phones, laptops, tablets - anything with a screen really - emits blue light. While being exposed to this lighting can be beneficial throughout the day, it’s quite the opposite at night since it tricks our brain into thinking it’s still daytime, making us feel more awake. So before you hit the hay, it’s best if you put down your device for at least an hour.
If this is something you truly can’t avoid, consider blue light glasses - glasses designed to block out the blue light emitted from our screens. A lot of our devices also offer a “Night Shift” setting, which shifts the colors of our screen to a warmer tone, helping us achieve a better night’s sleep.
Designated for sleep
Try to keep your room designated for sleep, and sleep only. A lot of us may still be working remotely from home due to the pandemic, and as cozy as it sounds doing work on your computer from your bed, it may not be the smartest idea. If you haven’t already, make sure to find another spot in your home, or elsewhere, designated for work. By setting these boundaries, it creates a further distance between work and relaxation. When you do so, it can help signal your brain that your room is a safe place to relax, thus helping you fall asleep better.
A nightly ritual
Having a set routine at night can help ease you into a further state of relaxation. This could be different for everyone: from performing your skin care routine, listening to a meditation/podcast, lighting candles, drinking a cup of (decaffeinated) tea, reading a book, etc. Create a ritual you can easily perform each night, and as it becomes part of your daily routine, it'll help you get in the rhythm of relaxing before heading to bed.
Journaling before you sleep can be greatly beneficial if you find yourself having a hard time falling asleep due to your thoughts. Writing down all your thoughts and feelings is a great way to decompress after a long day, helping you relieve your mind from stress and anxiety.
We’ve all had our fair share of restless nights where we just can’t seem to fall asleep. Maybe it’s from one too many cups of coffee during the day, or our minds are plagued by stress and anxiety. Either way, a lack of sleep can have a severe impact on both our mental and physical health, but hopefully these tips can help you achieve a good night’s worth of rest.