There’s nothing worse than a poor night’s sleep.
After all, it can wreak havoc with your emotions and energy levels, as well as your motivation to get even the simplest tasks done. It can even cause weight gain!
Oh, and did you know that getting enough quality sleep is even harder in winter?
Not only is there less sunlight during the colder months, but we also tend to spend more time indoors. This means that we miss out on natural daylight exposure and our melatonin concentrations are lower, which can then interfere with our sleep.
However, don’t despair — there are some things you can do to help you sleep better at night and stay happy and healthy all year round.
First of all, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. (And even on the weekends!)
Why? Well, this helps to regulate your body clock.
And when you have the same bedtime routine, it’s easier to fall asleep and stay asleep until your alarm goes off the next morning.
Even though it’s super tempting, avoid having naps of any kind during the day (even if it’s only a short one).
Napping makes it harder for you to fall asleep at night, thus interrupting your usual sleep cycle and the quality of your sleep.
If you find that you’re not tired enough to fall asleep on a night, it might be because you haven’t been incredibly active that day.
To remedy this, exercise every day for at least 30 minutes. Even if you don’t have time to work out vigorously, try to do something physical.
Then you can say goodbye to tossing and turning and hello to improved sleep hygiene.
It’s no secret that caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes can disrupt sleep — but did you know that eating big meals later at night can also have an effect?
This is because the discomfort from indigestion makes it harder to rest.
Therefore, it’s best to avoid these things in the evening to ultimately make it easier for you to visit the land of nod.
Lastly, try to come up with a bedtime ritual that will wind you down for sleep each night.
Whether it’s having a hot bubble bath or reading a good book (or maybe both), pick something to do that relaxes you right before bed — and you’ll be amazed how quickly you drift off.
You should also avoid bright lights and the blue light emitted from digital devices as both of these can interrupt your circadian rhythm.
This then makes it more difficult for you to fall asleep, remain asleep and reach deep sleep.
Still, find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and struggling to get back to sleep? Do whatever you usually do during your bedtime ritual to ease your stress and anxiety levels.
And don’t be too hard on yourself. We all struggle with poor sleep sometimes.
That said, try the above tips and it won’t be long before you’re waking up in the morning feeling refreshed, well-rested and ready to take on the day.
Look out for the next blog post in the “Improve Your Wellness” series, “Part 3: Best Ways to Restore Gut Health,” coming very soon!