1. Keep a sleep schedule.
Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. It takes 70 to 90 minutes to complete a sleep cycle. If you are consistent with the time you go to bed and the time you wake up, your brain and circadian rhythm have a better chance of staying on track and getting deep sleep. You may notice your body adjusting to the schedule. You will start waking up with more energy and be more refreshed, if you get good quality sleep.
2. Take a hot bath.
A hot bath before bed relaxes the body and the muscles making it easier for you to fall asleep. Add Lavender essential oil or epsom salts to your bath. Turn down the lights in the bathroom when you bathe. You may even turn the lights off and light a candle. This allows the brain to calm down and be less stimulated by artificial lighting.
3. Avoid alcohol before bed.
Alcohol seems to help the body relax at first, but it impairs the quality of sleep. Alcohol can also cause your blood sugar to drop in the night, effecting sleep quality as well. This can set you up for over eating the next day. Instead of alcohol, try relaxing teas such as chamomile or cinnamon.
4. Limit caffeine after noon.
Caffeine makes us feel more awake and alert. Overloading the system with caffeine becomes a competitive action for sleep inducing chemicals to enter the brain. Too much caffeine will also keep the system in the state of a fight or flight, also known as sympathetic arousal.
5. No electronics in bed.
Avoiding TV, LED lights, computer and cell phones in your bedroom will help keep your brain at rest. Even though your eyes may be closed, your brain can still pick up on artificial lighting in the room. If your brain thinks it’s daylight, it will have a hard time going to sleep.
6. Read a calming book.
Reading a book in bed helps the mind unwind. Try to keep the information you read late in the day less serious. I recommend our book, The Quest for Wellness. Also, you can catch up on your fun magazine reading! If you put some joyful thought in your mind before bed, it has an effect on your attitude the next day!