7 Simple Steps to Serene Sleep
Who doesn’t love getting a good night’s rest? Getting in some quality sack time leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day. Feeling that way every morning would be amazing, but it seems that on some nights, you’re left tossing and turning, instead of snoozing.
Developing a nightly “wind down” routine can help you to significantly increase your chances of getting a restful night, every night. Say goodbye to insomnia with these 7 simple serene sleep steps.
1. Soak in some warmth
Multiple sleep studies have been conducted on the topic of body temperature during sleep. All of the studies indicate that your body cools during the evening hours, which signals your body that it’s time to rest. You can play on this information by taking a hot bath or shower a couple of hours before bed. The rapid cooling that happens when you leave the warmth of the water is like a memo to your body that it’s time for bed.
2. Lower the lights
Another way to let your body know that it’s time to hit the hay is by assisting in the release of melatonin, which is the chemical that is naturally released by your brain to help you sleep. The best way to encourage melatonin to do its job is by dimming the lights, as the sleep hormone won’t flow without darkness. You can start encouraging the release of melatonin by lowering the lights a couple of hours before bedtime.
3. Prep for the next day
Your body thrives on routine, and bedtime is no different than any other time of the day. Encourage your body to recognize that sleep is on the horizon by creating a bedtime routine. When you lay out your clothes for the next day, brush your teeth and hair, pull back the covers on your bed, and other simple tasks every night, you’re signaling to yourself that bedtime is near.
4. Watch your caffeine intake
It goes without saying that drinking coffee before bed is not a good idea when you’re hoping for a smooth transition into dreamland, but caffeine can actually stay in your system for a much longer time than most people realize. If you’re having trouble falling asleep on a regular basis, it’s best to stop any caffeine intake no later than early afternoon.
5. Ditch your devices
Caffeine isn’t the only stimulant that you need to wean yourself off of to ensure a good night’s sleep. Electronic screens may also be keeping your mind overstimulated and causing your tossing and turning. Instead of catching up on your favorite TV show or checking your social media newsfeed, try something more soothing. Reading in your favorite chair or listening to music while lounging on the couch will help relax you after a long day.
6. Cover your tootsies
While it may seem a bit strange, wearing socks to bed has been linked to better sleep. The added warmth on your feet provided by wearing socks while snuggling under the covers has been shown to increase circulation to your extremities, which can help you fall asleep faster.
7. Resist the snacking urge
The lure of the midnight snack can be a hard one to ignore, but eating right before turning in can cause your digestive track to kick into overdrive at a time when the rest of your body is trying to wind down for the night. Spicy foods are especially notorious for causing sleep trouble and should be avoided at least two hours before bedtime.
Taking the time to establish a soothing bedtime routine and avoiding possible causes for insomnia will not only help you fall asleep quicker but will also reward you with a serene sleep experience that will leave you feeling like a million bucks.