Aside from waking up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day, there are so many science-backed reasons (and beauty benefits, of course) behind the importance of sleeping well. The best part is – you have the power to get a better sleep, just based on what you do (or don’t do) before bed.
How To Get a Better Sleep
To help you get a better sleep tonight (and every night, for that matter), here are 5 simple things you can do.
The Big Reasons Why a Better Sleep is Essential
As a productivity-oriented society, we’ve all heard people brag about only needing 4-hours of sleep. Well, the experts (including the editors of Health magazine) have spoken! That’s not only counter-productive, but it can also wreak havoc on your health and well-being.
Studies have shown that a deep, restful sleep (for at least 7-8 hours) can not only make you healthier (since sleep is essential for your cellular rejuvenation), but a better sleep can also boost your memory, improve your ability to focus, and make your skin look more radiant.
In addition to the benefits listed above, getting a better sleep at night can also reduce stress (since it affects your cortisol levels), spur creativity during waking hours, and help you live longer.
So are you inspired to hop under the covers now?
1. Turn Off Electronic Devices Before Bed
Whether you’re browsing the web, doing online shopping, or catching up on social media, using electronic devices (like your PC or phone) before bed is a big no-no. As reported by the National Sleep Foundation, “studies have shown that even our small electronic devices emit sufficient light to miscue the brain and promote wakefulness.” At least 30-minutes to an hour before hitting the hay, turn-off all electronic devices.
To help you get a better sleep, turn your phone on silent mode during sleep hours. This means your phone won’t be buzzing whenever you get a text or call.
While you’re at it, try to make it a policy to keep electronics out of the bedroom (so you’re not tempted).
2. Use Aromatherapy To Soothe Your Senses
Using the power of scent has the ability to calm your nerves, relax your mind, and lull you to sleep better. Lighting a scented candle or using an essential oil diffuser before bed can soothe your senses. Scents like lavender and chamomile are renowned for their calming abilities. Plus, these natural aromas smell divine, making your bedroom feel like a true sanctuary. (Just make sure to turn off any lit candles before going to sleep!)
3. Turn On Nature Sounds
The sound machine is honestly one of the best inventions ever. Did that person win a Nobel Peace Prize? Because they really deserve it!
Whether you enjoy being lulled to sleep listening to the sounds of waves gently crashing upon the beach, or you love getting whisked away to a dreamy destination as you hear tropical birds chirping, listening to nature sounds can give you a better sleep. Plus, these sound machines are especially helpful to minimize unwanted distractions like city noises or loud neighbors.
If you have a smart home, you can easily tell Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa to play nature sounds. We often enjoy listening to rain and ocean sounds. Not to mention – animals sleep better listening to nature sounds too (I can attest to this, as I’ve tested this theory on our puppy, who is blissfully snoring as I type this).
4. Read a Relaxing Book
To help you unwind and relax before bed, reading a non-stimulating book can work wonders for an over-stimulated brain. Self-help or spiritual books, romance novels, and inspirational stories can help you calm your mind after a busy day. But steer clear of anything that perks you up – like thrillers, business books, or intense dramas, as these can have the opposite effect. Since your goal is to get a better sleep, reading non-stimulating material can help you feel more peaceful and sleepy. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen asleep while reading a self-help or spiritual book!)
5. Do Gentle Stretches & Deep Breathing
After a long, busy day, your muscles are probably sore and tired. Whether you’ve been running around after kids or pounding the keyboard at your 9-to-5 office job, your body needs a little TLC before bed. To help you get a better sleep, do gentle stretches and deep breathing to relieve tight muscles and oxygenate your brain. Even 10-minutes each night before bed can help relax your body and give you a better night’s sleep.
By incorporating these 5 simple steps into your nightly routine, you’ll begin to experience deeper, more restful sleep. As you learn how to get a better sleep, over time, you’ll feel more well-rested, alert, and energized when you wake up. You’ll probably also see other benefits, such as a cheerier attitude (even before you’ve had your morning coffee), a clearer complexion, and a natural boost in energy throughout the day.
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