Think of the most important things in your life; what comes to mind? Maybe it's spending time with family, traveling the world, working hard in your career, maintaining a social life, etc. All of which, when trying to balance it all, can easily lead to constant stress. What you probably didn't think of (that should rank high on your list) is sleep. It is known that humans spend about one-third of their lives asleep, so shouldn't we be aiming to make it the best sleep we possibly can? There are no benefits to not getting enough sleep, only cons including heart disease, mood disorders, and poor immune function.
So, what's the deal? Nowadays, sleep depravation is celebrated. With mantras like "Sleep is for the weak" or "You snooze, you lose" and people being encouraged to "hustle hard" to achieve their dreams with no down time, it's no wonder that people are more stressed and tired than ever before. According to today's world, to be successful in life, you need to be exhausted and burnt out; however, the truth is that when you are overworked and don't get a proper night's sleep to recharge yourself, your overall performance and productivity will suffer. Here's some helpful tips on how to get some shut eye as soon as your head hits the pillow and start working smarter, not harder.
Make your bed in the morning What is it about a properly made-up bed that looks so much more inviting than a messy bed with tangled sheets that you rolled out the morning of? A fresh bed will give you the feeling of a fresh start the minute you wake up.
Dim the lights an hour before bed Creating a dark, cool environment will allow your brain to get in the mindset that it's time to start winding down for the night.
Unplug 30 minutes before bedtimeThe brightness of screens (phone, laptop, TV) sends signals to your brain that it's still daylight and makes it hard for your body to turn off that switch.
Stop the caffeine intake after 2pmThis one may be a no-brainer, but it truly does help. Even caffeine consumed 6 hours before bed can keep you from falling asleep.
Read a book Not sure how to fill your time without your TV/phone before bed? Read a book! Preferably a real book and not a tablet book (which is just another screen). Reading is such a relaxing activity that puts you in a calm state of mind making it easier to fall asleep once you're ready.
Keep pets and technology out of the bedroom You may be rolling your eyes at this one, but it's worth a shot! Your bedroom should be a peaceful environment if your main focus is to fall asleep with ease. Any furry friends or objects that will keep your mind distracted will only deter you from a good night's rest.
Meditate A little hard to master for newbies, but with some practice, anyone can do it! And once you do, the benefits are phenomenal. Meditation helps keep our mind focused, calms our nerves and supports your inner balance. It also ends your day on a positive note!
Skip the alcohol While some people drink alcohol before bed for its drowsiness effect, studies have shown that the regular consumption of alcohol before bed will actually cause a disruption in your sleep pattern (making you wake up in the middle of the night). So while you may be able to initially fall asleep easier, the long-term effects will do you no good.
Don't work where you sleep It's hard to resist working from the comfort of your own bed, but if you make it a habit, it could be harder for your brain to enter sleep mode when it's subconsciously thinking you're about to get some work done. Sometimes work can be stressful, and you don't want to bring those kind of vibes into your bed.
Get enough magnesium in your diet Magnesium helps relieve stress, and if you don’t have enough magnesium, your body simply can’t relax. Over time, staying in this stressed state leads to symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue and sleeplessness. Eating magnesium-rich foods such as nuts, seeds and beans is good practice, and taking supplements is an option as well.
If you try out these tips and still struggle with sleeping, there could be other issues interfering with your sleep such as food sensitivities, thyroid problems, heavy metal toxicity, stress, or depression. Consider getting tested for sleep disorders.