You know when you get that sleepy feeling right before bed? Or sometimes you find yourself waking up before your alarm even goes off? You can thank your circadian rhythm (aka your internal clock) for that.
Sometimes when our schedules change, or we start staying up later than usual, our rhythm can be thrown out of balance. When this happens, it can be difficult to get a restful night of sleep.
In addition to keeping a consistent sleep and wake schedule, here are a few more tips to help you get the best night’s sleep…
- Have a Schedule – As previously mentioned, going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day of the week can help keep your body’s internal clock in balance… (The best way to stay on track with a sleep schedule is to develop a healthy bedtime routine. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day of the week can help keep the body’s internal clock in balance. Think about your schedule and decide on a reasonable sleep and rise time goal. Aim to fall asleep and wake up close to that goal each day of the week.
- Exercise Daily – Exerting extra energy during the day can be tiring. These extra active minutes can help you to fall asleep when it is time to hit the hay. Exercise does not have to be an intense run or hours spent at the gym. If you are moving – it counts! It is recommended that healthy adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise, 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, or a combination of both each week. Squeeze a walk in after dinner, go out for a bike ride, or anything else that gets your body up and moving. Aim to complete all exercise a few hours before going to bed. This allows time for your body to cool down.
- Avoid Bright Light – Steer clear of bright lights before going to sleep. You may want to rethink watching television, responding to last minute emails or scrolling through social media in bed. Our bodies can have a difficult time deciphering the difference between artificial light and the sun. Checking your phone before bed could be making it more difficult to fall asleep at night. Get into the habit of putting electronics away an hour before going to sleep.
- Wind Down – Life tends to get pretty busy. Let your body know it is time to sleep by giving it some time to wind down. Spend the hour before you fall asleep doing something relaxing. This will help both your body and mind to calm down from the excitement of the day. Pick up your favorite book, try out some new yoga moves, play some soothing music, put on a face mask, or anything else that will help you feel more relaxed.
- Skip the Nap – If you nap a lot during the day, chances are you will not sleep as soundly during the night. If you cannot live without a nap during the day, keep it to 20 minutes or less. Try to keep naps earlier in the day.
Sleep is important for our bodies to relax and rejuvenate from the previous day. Make the most of your hours asleep by following these tips. You will be on your way to a good night sleep in no time!
Alaina Riley | Marketing & Wellness Coordinator