10 Tips to Get Better Sleep
When it comes to dramatically improving health, reducing stress, and impacting quality of life, sleep is a superfood! And it may seem like a no brainer, but EVERYTHING improves when you’re well-rested. Yet, most of us aren’t getting enough zzz’s, including me!
Lack of sleep has a cumulative effect. It reduces immunity and slows down metabolism. It makes you more prone to stress and raises your cortisol levels. It makes you grumpy and irritable and likely to make less-than-great decisions, including choices with food!
If you know you should be getting more sleep, you probably are familiar with the basics of how to do it. But instead of strict rules and things not to do, like “no caffeine past 2 p.m.,” I like to suggest proactive behaviors or activities to decompress.
These are things that calm and center you, preparing you for the kind of deep, restorative sleep that will set you up for an easier and better tomorrow.
Here are 10 simple ways to get those replenishing zzz’s:
Soak Up the Sunlight in the Morning
Starting the day in the sun regulates your circadian rhythms (your body’s natural clock) that tells you when you should be alert and awake or tired and sleeping. Early sunshine can help you sleep! All it takes is a few minutes to make a big difference. And best of all? It’s accessible, refreshing, and doesn't cost a thing!
Wind Down at the Same Time
Choose a specific time to signal to your body that it’s time for bed, then be consistent to create routine. Power off your devices, sip on a soothing latte, change into soft PJs, or soak in a warm bath.
Journal to Release Thoughts
Whether it’s simply writing out your to-do list or expressing gratitude so that you go to bed feeling happier, there are so many ways to journal. The act of releasing your thoughts onto paper is cathartic, and this simple habit can impact your state of mind, allowing you to worry less and sleep more soundly.
Make Friends with Lavender
I’m such a believer in the magical calming powers of these little flowers! It’s no surprise to find me sneaking culinary lavender into meals and filling my diffuser with lavender essential oil. The smell alone is proven to instantly reduce stress and support better sleep. Think of lavender as your BFF when it’s time for a good night’s rest.
No Devices in the Bedroom
The light from your TV, phone, and computer triggers your brain to stay awake. Just like you put your kids to bed at a certain hour, put your electronics away for the night at least 30 minutes before bed.
Take a Supplement
Sometimes lavender and journaling just aren’t enough to quiet your racing mind or ease your body into a sound sleep. Lately, I have been using sleep support+ from mindbodygreen … and it is not an exaggeration to say that it has changed my life. This science-backed formula with Magnesium bisglycinate, Jujube, and PharmaGABA® has helped me fall asleep faster AND stay asleep.* I wake up feeling rejuvenated, not groggy like I did when I tried melatonin. (Use code ELISEM20 for 20% off)
Use a Weighted Blanket
I can tell you firsthand that I feel a lot less anxious when I sleep under my weighted blanket. Studies show that weighted blankets can bring a sense of calm, relieve anxiety, and promote sound slumber.
Try Stretching or Gentle Movement
I like to move through a few yoga poses before bed, or even just sit on the floor and stretch. It helps work out the kinks of the day and signals to the body, “Hey, now we’re slowing down.”
Cuddle a Loved One
Cuddling has been shown to boost immunity, lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol levels. Just as importantly, it’s fun and calming and the perfect way to end your day.
Soak Away Stress
A warm bath before bed may be the simplest (and most effective) way to relax. Light a candle, turn on some soothing music, and take it to the next level with Epsom salt and essential oils to instantly unwind and chill.
So, try some (or all!) of these 9 ways to make sleep a priority. Trust me: Sometimes I stay up way too late answering that one last email or catching up on the news. But when I’m conscious about getting enough shuteye and think about Future Me, I do what it takes to get a good night’s rest.
Join me in committing to a good night’s sleep – then notice how you feel so much better when you’re well-rested. Sweet dreams!