Sleep is one of life’s little conundrums to me. I just don’t get it. No literally. I don’t get it as much as I should. I’m either too anxious and my mind starts whirling 1000 miles an hour when it gets quiet or I just don’t like sleeping much. I mean, I am a morning person. I always tell my husband “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” because I love life. I’m so afraid I’m going to miss something … anything! But I know sleep is also important and if I didn’t sleep, I’d probably pass out in my coffee and then I’d REALLY be missing out on the day, wouldn’t I?
It’s no secret sleep is critical to one’s overall health and well-being. We’ve all heard getting six to eight hours of sleep is recommended, but busy work schedules and ongoing personal commitments make it difficult to make sleep a priority. So how can you ensure you’re getting quality shuteye? Next time you’re ready to crawl into bed, apply these four tips to help get better sleep.
Harness the power of light: Light plays a critical role in producing melatonin, the hormone that helps induce sleepiness and regulate your sleep/wake cycle. Setting the right ambiance in your living room or bedroom with warmer, sunset-like shades of white light when you are ready to unwind can help support melatonin production and promote better sleep.
With this in mind, I like the Philips Hue White Ambiance that offers a ‘Relax’ mode and delivers a warm, amber-toned light designed to help you unwind and prepare for an undisturbed sleep. The connected lighting system also has a ‘Nightlight’ mode that delivers a dim level of amber-reddish light designed to help you navigate the room to care for a crying child or go to the bathroom with minimal disruption to your sleep cycle.
Keep a consistent sleep schedule: Oftentimes, we tend to sleep less during the work week and make up for it over the weekend. By constantly shifting our sleeping patterns, we subject ourselves to jet-lag-like symptoms. We are creatures of habit and establishing a consistent time to go to bed helps your body react in kind. Now this isn’t always the case when you have a schedule like my husband who switches one week days, another week midshift, and another week nights. In fact, it’s down right unhealthy, but it can be done with the right routine and gadgets.
The Philips app also offers routines to help you maintain a natural rhythm with the right shade of white light. Just set the time you want to start your go to sleep routine and select how long you want your lights to fade out in the app. Your lights will gradually dim until they turn off, helping to gently ease your body into a peaceful sleep. It can also be used with Alexa if you have her.
Tone down the use of technology before bed: In order to prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep, you should try to avoid intense light with cooler blue tones, which suppresses melatonin production. Relax an hour or two before going to bed – tucking away your mobile phone, computer or tablet, which might cause stress or overstimulate you prior to bedtime, disrupting your ability to sleep.
Calm your way to sleep. My favorite solution is the light scent of Lavender. Try a Lavender scented bubble bath or shower gel and light some incense an hour before bed. Sometimes I’ll take a warm Lavender scented bath or shower while playing some Enya in the background. It sets the mood for some much needed rest.
Every day brings new opportunities and challenges, all of which are more easily faced if you’ve had a great sleep. Apply these tips, and hopefully you’ll be rested and refreshed, ready for whatever tomorrow throws at you.
What are some of your bedtime rituals to help you fall asleep or get better sleep?