Improving Sleep is essential to getting us through those difficult days
Improving sleep is something that can be overlooked and underrated. Growing up, I heard so many stories of people staying up late and enjoying the night life. Later on in life, I went out and did the exact same thing. I stayed up late, and little by little, it became a habit. Staying up late just became almost a way of life. I am sure there are many that can relate.
So much time just starts to pass us by and we aren’t giving the body the proper rest that it needs to function at its full potential. The following are 10 effective habits that I have picked up over time, that help me improve my sleep.
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Schedule A Time For Sleep
I had to learn the hard way that sleep needs to be a priority in my life. Suffering from epilepsy, my neurologist emphasized how vital sleep is to my overall health. It wasn’t until I made the changes, that I realized this is something I should put more energy into. Sleep gave me a return on my investment. The better that I started to sleep, the better my energy and mental clarity was the next day. I slowly started to pick up on this.
In the beginning, I was in denial that I needed to get more sleep. I was certain that I could continue with my current sleep habits and I would be okay. It wasn’t until I put myself on a sleep schedule, that I started to feel the difference.
Take some time and analyze your daily routine. What time are you going to bed now? What time do you think you can go to bed consistently? Lastly, what time would you have to go to sleep at, in order to get a full 8 hours of sleep? This is where I started. I picked a time that would allot me 8 hours of sleep per night and just focused on consistency.
Shoot for 8 hours of Sleep
Once I began to get a consistent 8 hours of sleep each night, I began to feel the difference. However, I did not pick up on that difference until I started regressing towards my old sleeping habits. Moving in the wrong direction gave me perspective. I would stay up late and the next day was different. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something was off. The inconsistency in my sleep schedule, started to prove to me that there was a significant difference that I was feeling on certain days. I was able to narrow it down to sleep! Getting a consistent 8 hours of sleep each night, plays a significant role in our overall cognitive function. Because I was able to start seeing and noticing these changes, I decided to go back and tighten up on my evenings to prioritize 8 hours of sleep.
Analyze your Day
A good habit to take on, would be to reflect on your overall day. Take some time to go over the different challenges that are taking place in your life and look at how you have been handling them. If you see that lately you have been experiencing difficulty, you may be moody, and easily frustrated, pause and ask yourself if you have been sleeping 8 hours consistently. If the answer is no, then use this information to increase your sleep and watch how your mood and focus begins to improve dramatically. It is when you take some time to analyze your day, that you find the small incremental changes that you can make towards a better life.
Essential Oil Diffuser
In our home, we love the benefits our Essential Oil Diffuser has brought us. Sleep is one of those benefits. There are a lot of different essential oils that can help you relax and promote healthier sleep. A great product to have, is an essential oil diffuser close to your bed providing a soothing mix of essential oils that help you to doze off easier.
Block out Light
If you are like me, and have never done a light perimeter check around your room when you turn off the lights, then I would suggest you try this out. This can improve your sleep. Many of us have electronics such as chargers, music players, tv’s, cable boxes in our room. You may not notice, but these devices can often come with little light indicators on them. Some of these devices have flashing indicators that just stay flashing. These little lights believe it or not, affect your sleep. A quick way to combat this is to get a quality sleep mask. Once you start using a sleep mask, you start to see how all of those little lights have been affecting the quality of your sleep all this time. Adding some black out shades to your bedroom windows can also help block out unnecessary light that may be affecting your sleep.
Create a Cutoff Time for Devices
According to a Harvard Health Letter, cutting off devices before bed is something that can improve the quality of your sleep. Electronic devices such as tv’s, cellphones, and tablets all emit blue light and that blue light can affect the way your brain produces key hormones that are essential for quality sleep. By eliminating these devices hours before bed, we are able to limit this blue light and help our bodies enter proper sleep cycles. Be sure, that when you do put your devices away, turn on airplane mode. This can avoid any excess light coming through because of notifications throughout the night. If you are a fan of tech and own an Apple Watch, make sure to toggle sleep mode.This will help to avoid interruptions with vibrations due to notifications while you are sleeping.
Eliminate a Clock in the Bedroom
Some people struggle with sleep more than others. For some, it is as easy as going to bed earlier and things just click. For others, sleeping can be a real nightmare. A great tip if you do suffer from insomnia is to eliminate a clock from your bedroom. The purpose behind this is you want to take away anything that will tell you the time. Viewing the time, creates anticipation and arousal. It can even stress you out, depending on the severity of your sleep disorder. By eliminating the clock you can put your body and mind into a more at ease state, which will be a push in the positive direction. If you absolutely must have a clock in the room, I would check out the Hatch Alarm Clock for adults and they have a children’s version too.
Listen to Soothing Sounds
In our home, we have a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited and we have an Echo Dot by our bedside. There is an option where you can turn on and have access to soothing, relaxing sounds such as heavy rain or ocean waves and more. I find that this can help if you like to have something to listen to and do not want music playing.
Create an Evening Routine
I remember when I had my babies and my wife created an evening routine for them to know when bed time was coming around. She would draw a warm bath for them, play a specific song for them, and she would read them kids books while feeding them. It wasn’t long until they learned the routine. By the time bath time rolled around, they knew it was time to wind down. It was then, that I realized there is great value in creating an evening routine. Creating a consistent evening routine before bed can be beneficial towards improving your overall sleep patterns.
Working on a better sleep schedule for yourself is a great investment of time and energy. You won’t know just how much this can positively impact your life, until you start implementing tips such as these. The idea is to sleep better, and the only way to really see the results that this will bring you is by staying consistent. In achieving something like improving your sleep, you will need to stay consistent in order to feel the power of sleep.
I had to pick this information up due to a disability that I developed later in life. It wasn’t until I implemented these changes that I saw what a difference it can make for a human being. It is so powerful, that I want to share to possibly help others out there. If you feel like you could get more or better sleep, try these out.