We’ve all been there – wide awake in the middle of the night staring at the ceiling wondering “Why me? Why am I not sleeping peacefully at the late hours of the night?” Sleep deprivation can completely alter your life. I have experienced struggles with insomnia and college reintroduced me to this vicious condition. I’m not talking every once in awhile, either – it happens almost every night. Getting enough sleep at night is as equally important as eating well and exercising. Remember ladies, beauty sleep is a very real thing. Lack of sleep will give you a dull appearance, lack of concentration, anxiety, depression, poor immune functions, lack of creativity, memory loss, and the list could go on and on. In summary, sleep is so important.
For those of you who can fall asleep the second you hit your pillow, lucky you – do not take this blessing for granted. For those whose minds are constantly racing trying to cure cancer and solve political issues in the late hours of the night, here are some useful tips to help you get your sleep back on track:
1) Create a restful sleep environment
First of all, find the right sheets for you. Silk sheets are my favorite as they keep your body temperature cool. Along with the right sheets, an extra blanket can keep you warm during the night’s changing temperatures. I also suggest finding a soft mattress that provides pressure relief and evenly distributes your body weight. I know that this might be a stretch since we might not be at the point in our lives where we can buy a Serta plus mattress, but investing in a new mattress pad for your dorm bed or your bed at home will help keep it comfortable. Finally, keep it dark. Use an eye mask and dark shades to block out the light. Having a dark environment is key for telling your body to wind down. If you need some noise, sleep with a fan on low for some calming “white noise.”
2) Set a sleep schedule
Creating a sleep routine is the most important tip I can give. Go to bed at the same time every night. Rise and shine at the same time every morning. For the nights when you cannot fall asleep until the early morning, force yourself to get out of bed early as well. A regular sleep schedule keeps your biological clock steady so you can rest better. Remember, your body thrives on routine.
3) Reserve your bed for sleep only
Remember that a bed is a sanctuary for sleep. A rule of sleep hygiene is keeping your bed just for sleep. I am guilty of sitting on my bed and responding to emails. Remember to do work at your desk, charge your phone on the floor, and do not check it once the lights are out. Do not watch TV in bed, no matter how comfy it might sound. You can train your body to instantly get sleep when entering your bed at night by following this rule.
4) Clear your mind
At the end of the day, I have a million things running through my mind and stresses from the next day seem to creep in. I like to write down in my planner everything I need to get done the next day. This helps me make a plan, prioritize, and remind myself that everything will be completed eventually. Having a plan set in motion for the next day helps me unwind. Writing and clearing your mind can be therapeutic to go over parts of your day and plan for the next.
5) Don’t stress about not sleeping
It is a vicious cycle. Train your mind to not worry if you are not receiving the right amount of sleep. Do not agonize by counting the numbers of sleep you are or are not getting, as this can make it even harder to fall asleep. Take some of the steps listed above and learn how to calm your mind before bed. The more you worry, the worse it will get.
Hopefully, these sleep solutions can help you improve the quality of your rest, which will in turn improve your quality of your life. Remember, you are a game changer, so before you set out tomorrow to change the world, shut off your engine and charge up for the next day.
Image Credits: Frank Body