Are you struggling to sleep at night? According to a 2020 survey by Sleep Standards, 67% of Americans believe that their sleep schedules were healthier pre-pandemic than they are now. It’s not surprising either. Many of us are dealing with so much more mentally than we ever have before - Increased stress and anxiety of the pandemic, lack of socialization, working from home (and being in charge of childcare) are all leading many of us to have issues getting a good night’s rest. Although many of these things are out of control, we’ve put together a list of 5 things you CAN control to help get you a full night’s rest.
Put away the phone
Most of us know this already, but a reminder never hurt! Looking at the blue light from our phones right before bed can disrupt your internal clock and inhibit your melatonin production (the hormone that tells your body to get tired and go to sleep). 30-60 minutes before bed, try turning your phone to “Do Not Disturb Mode” so you won’t get notifications right before bed which could trigger last minute stress or unwanted thoughts. It also helps to prevent notifications going off while you’re in the middle of your slumber.
Consistency is key
Resist the temptation to hit snooze every morning, and work on getting into the habit of waking up at the same time every morning. It can be tempting to roll out of bed at 8:50am for your 9am meeting, but don’t! When you wake up at the same time every morning, your biological clock will start to understand when it’s time to wake up and tell you when it’s time for bed.
Set an evening routine
To add to consistency, creating a night time routine also helps the body and brain get ready for sleep. Give yourself 30-60 minutes to start a routine that has you relaxing. This could be anything from a bath or shower, starting your evening skincare ritual, reading a book, or journaling. Creating a routine helps signal to your body that it’s time to start winding down and preparing for sleep.
Sleep at a cool temperature
Temperature can have a significant impact on our sleep quality. A National Sleep Foundation poll found that having a cool room temperature was one of the most important factors to getting a good night’s sleep. The best room temperature is about 65 degrees F or 18 degrees C.
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Your bed is *only* for sleeping
Due to the pandemic, a lot of us have found new ways to use our bed: A second office, a second place to browse Netflix, a place to lie in all day. But spending too much time in bed can throw a wrench into helping our body wind down for sleep. Make sure you’re not using your bed for multiple purposes, and keep it as your sleep sanctuary.
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