Creating Healthy Habits for Better Sleep
Photo courtesy of cnn.com
As a mama of twin one year olds, a business owner, and a fitness lover, adequate sleep is an absolute CRITICAL component in my routine. But easier said than done, right? With two teething kiddos, late nights getting caught up on work, and just trying to fit all my daily “to do’s” in before bed, I have often caught my sleep taking a major hit.
The last handful of months I have shifted my focus to creating a pre-bed routine that will support the best sleep possible, even if it is for less hours than this mama would like!
Whether you’re a parent of littles yourself, or just simply need some better sleep hygiene, I encourage you to try some of the suggestions in this list and see what they can do for you and your sleep + recovery!
- Get outside during daylight hours.
Especially this last year - so many of us have spent more time indoors than ever. Getting outside and into the sunshine helps your body keep its circadian rhythm in check. Bonus points if this outdoor time involves physical activity! Which leads me to my next point…
Photo courtesy of huffpost.com
2. Get a workout in!
I am sure I am preaching to the choir with this one, but getting in physical exercise during the day helps improve sleep and reduces symptoms of insomnia. Just make sure you get your workout in at a time that supports your sleep schedule - for some, working out too late in the day may make sleep more difficult, as exercise stimulates the body.
3. Create a consistent routine
Parents of little ones know that creating a consistent bedtime routine helps their kids get to sleep faster and easier. This is true for adults too! Start a pre-bedtime routine to signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down for the day. This can include numerous things, but here is what my personal routine includes!
- Having a consistent bed time / wake time (yes, even on weekends!).
- Turn TV / bright lights off an hour before bed.
- No liquids (with the exception of #5, which I will get to in a minute) within 2 hours of bed.
- Write out a To-Do List for the next day, so it’s not circling around in my head as I try to fall asleep.
- Lay out workout clothes for the following morning.
- Take a hot shower.
- Do my skincare routine, brush teeth.
- Read for 10-20 minutes.
- Set thermostat to cool, completely black out the room, and turn on sound machine.
Photo courtesy of johnryanbydesign.co.uk
4. Block out blue light in the evening.
Y’all knew this one was coming. Blue light loves to ruin our sleep. Much to my first point - our brains have a natural clock that is based off of light/darkness. Blue light throws our circadian rhythm for a loop, and too much exposure before bed time can trick your brain into thinking it is “awake time”.
I know firsthand how difficult it is to cut out ALL blue light in the evenings (this is my chance to catch up on work after the kids have gone to bed - and work includes phones and a computer!), BUT there are things you can do to help. Wearing blue light glasses, installing apps that block blue light on your phone/computer, etc are great ways to lessen the impact of blue light in the evenings.
5. Use a sleep aiding supplement - like DREAMAID GO!
I started using the new DREAMAID GO packets as soon as they were released, and I have been hooked ever since. I have consistently been falling asleep faster, staying asleep, and just overall getting better sleep (proven by my FitBit sleep scores each morning!), and I couldn’t be happier with these results. I have been getting my first EVER “90”s with my FitBit sleep score, and I know that is no coincidence.
Best of all, it tastes great and I actually look forward to drinking it. I drink it about 30 minutes before bed (once I am done with my shower) and usually mix it with about 4oz warm water, although it is great cold too! It tastes like an herby orange tea - so delicious!
What other sleep suggestions would you add to this list? What works personally for you? I’d love for you to share in the comments below!
- Molly Tilove @mollyeledge