Guide to Great Sleep: Reset Your Routine During Daylight Savings
Life can be exhausting and when you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, it’s hard to be productive, balance your emotions and stay healthy. We all know the importance of eating right and exercising, but sleep is just as key to promoting a healthy and happy life. After all, we spend about one-third of our lives asleep!
Unfortunately, for the 60 million Americans suffering from insomnia a year, lack of sleep is a way of life and it’s easy to resort to sleep aids for a quick fix. But before you reach for the bottle of sleeping pills, consider the plethora of prescription-free ways to soothe yourself into a quality slumber that are cheaper, healthier and have longer-lasting effects.
As you ease into Daylight Savings Time, why not hit reset on your sleep routine? Here are a few simple ways to start:
Create phone-free time
You’re probably aware that using your phone before bed is a bad idea, but you might not know just how serious the effects of an electronic device is on your sleep cycle. The second you start scrolling through your phone in bed, you’ve set yourself up for a restless sleep, according to a recent study conducted by Harvard University researchers. Not only will devices before bedtime prolong the time it takes you to fall asleep, they can delay your circadian clock, suppress levels of melatonin, affect your REM and reduce alertness the next morning. Time for a device detox!
Add herbal oils
Aromatherapy can be a great way to soothe yourself into a Zen and stress-free state, the perfect base for a good night’s sleep. Lull yourself into a sweet slumber using essential oils like lavender, chamomile, sage and patchouli. Buy a bedside diffuser to circulate subtle spritzes of relaxation all night or simply dab a touch of the oil behind both of your ears, on your wrists or on your pillow to wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested.
Indulge in a late-night treat
We’ve all heard the old tale about turkey and its sleep-inducing powers every Thanksgiving. Well, it’s partially true—turkey is full of tryptophan (although no more than chicken or other poultry products!), a key substance that aids in production of serotonin and promotes sleep. Adding a little late-night snack with a tryptophan-heavy structure, like eggs, low-fat cheese, pineapples, nuts and seeds, tuna, oats and lentils, could actually help you get a full and restful sleep cycle. Another key sleep aid—skip the liquids after 8 p.m. to avoid any unwanted trips to the bathroom throughout the night.
Wear yourself out with a workout
Research shows that regular exercise can help you fall asleep and sleep more soundly. However, it’s important to end your workout at least three hours before bedtime, especially if you’re a person who feels energized post-workout. For the best results, avoid evening sweat sessions and opt for early morning routines instead. If you must workout closer to bedtime, try a relaxing yoga or breathing exercise instead.
Set the scene
Creating an oasis is the ultimate way to ensure you get your suggested seven hours of sleep. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cozy. Use black out curtains and earplugs if necessary and don’t allow pets to sleep in your bed to avoid disturbances. Your temperature should be set to 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit and don’t skimp on purchasing sleep products that work for you. Research shows that new bedding can enhance sleep (you’ll want to replace your mattress and bedding every 5-8 years). Lastly, your bedroom should never be a place for watching TV, eating or discussing emotional/upsetting topics.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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