Remember that one day this week you went to sleep at a decent time and woke up refreshed and ready for the day to come? Honestly, a great night’s sleep is hard to come by. And some of us moms, entrepreneurs, and women simply just spread too thin every day may even view sleep as a luxury more than a necessity. Sleep is necessary for our bodies to fight off infection, it supports our metabolism, can reduce inflammation, and help us mentally in a myriad of ways. Read on for our tips on how to achieve a great night’s sleep.
1. Don't go to bed hungry or stuffed
Avoid heavy meals within a couple of hours before you plan to sleep. Digestion can cause discomfort and might keep you tossing and turning. Stick to light snacks and definitely avoid caffeine.
2. Set a bedtime and wake-up time
The recommended amount of sleep is at least 7 hours, but that varies depending on what your unique body needs to feel its best. Regardless of the amount of time you choose to block out for sleep, try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Consistency is what will reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
3. Structure your daytime naps
Need a midday pick-me-up? A daytime nap can work wonders, but be sure to limit your nap to 30 minutes or less. Any longer can disrupt your evening sleep schedule.
4. Create a restful environment
First, we suggest keeping your bedroom or sleeping area on the cooler side. Research shows that cooler temps can help us into a deeper sleep, and fall asleep faster. We also recommend a dark and quiet space, because of the prolonged amount we are exposed to screens and tech. A nice bath beforehand always helps too.
5. Reset your brain
Reverse psychology (without deception) is very useful for falling asleep. You know, those moments when you really, absolutely, desperately need to go to sleep and you can’t? Being too focused on falling asleep can result in poor sleep. Take the focus off of sleep itself and focus on something that relaxes you and lets you turn off your brain like calming music, a podcast on low volume, or even silence.
6. Breathe with your mind
Calm your mind with deep, slow breaths. We love the 4-7-8 method.
Here’s how to do it:
- Inhale and exhale slowly with the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth.
- Exhale out your mouth with light force.
- Next, softly close your mouth and inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.
- Now, hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Lastly, exhale slowly out of your mouth for 8 seconds with light force.
Repeat as many times as you need to for complete calm.
7. Daydream with purpose
When you catch your mind racing as you settle in for bed, try a daydream. To break the cycle of negative rumination, practice visualizing a calming scene, or yourself doing something fun and positive yet repetitive like hitting a goal or the ocean waves rolling in and out. Even if your mind wanders back to anxious thoughts, redirect your thoughts back to a daydream that’ll put your mind at ease, and you’ll fall asleep fast.
Did any of our sleep better tips help? Share how you shape better sleep habits with us on social @shapermint.