Those who know me well know that I value sleep. If I can go to sleep and stay asleep, I wake up in the morning feeling like a champ. My thoughts are clear, my reflexes are quick, and my words are precise. I feel like an efficiency ninja, slicing my way through the day.
If, however, I have not slept well… Well, that’s a different story entirely. I trudge through my day, talking out loud to myself (even in public) to make sure I stay on task and accomplish my to-do list. If I run into you and seem disengaged while we’re talking, don’t worry–I am. I cannot hear you and will probably not remember anything you’re saying right now. On the upside, my brain is somehow storing everything, and I’ll remember next Tuesday what you told me today.
Without adequate sleep, I become both annoying and annoyed. The ability to be present in the moment and enjoy what is happening around me vanishes and, as it goes, it takes my good mood with it.
I understand that not everyone turns into an utter trainwreck like me by missing a few hours of snoozing. However, for many, the consequences of sleep deprivation are significant. According to Healthline, studies show that people who are sleep deprived have a lower immune system, are at a greater risk for developing certain kinds of cancer, are at a greater risk for diabetes, and are more likely to gain weight.
Here are some ideas for ways you could get a better night’s sleep.
- Keep your bedroom cool. According to the Sleep Foundation, optimal sleeping temperature is between 60-67 degrees.
- Go to bed at the same time each night.
- Exercise daily.
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Do your best to keep electronics out of your bedroom and out of your bedtime routine.
- Use your bed as a sleeping tool, not a reading tool.
- Make sure you’re using an appropriate pillow. Here’s more on how to make sure you’re using the correct pillow.
- “Turn off your brain.” This is advice from my oldest.
- Practice breathwork if you need to relax and unwind. I recommend Ujjayi, Nadi Shodhana, Kumbhaka, Viloma, and Chandra Bhedana.
- Evaluate the comfort of your mattress. According to the Sleep Foundation, mattresses should be replaced every 9-10 years.
- If you have trouble sleeping at night, avoid daytime naps.
- Avoid eating or drinking late at night.
- Be wary of taking over-the-counter medicines to help you sleep. In my experience, sometimes Tylenol or Benedryl will help me sleep, but sometimes they provide a sudden rush of energy.
- Avoid bright lights in the evening. This will disrupt your circadian rhythms. On the other hand, make sure to enjoy the bright morning sunlight.
- If you’re still having issues, please contact your doctor.
Do you have any other tips for getting a good night’s sleep? Let us know in the comments below.
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