Are you lying awake counting sheep? You are in the company of millions worldwide. Not getting enough siesta time is no minute issue. Insufficient shut-eye predisposes you to heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity. On the other hand, adults who sleep at least seven hours a night, experience a better sex life, improved mood, clearer thinking and more productivity. A good night sleep is as necessary to life as breathing.
Get some Zs! Try these 7 Easy Fixes For A Better Night Sleep:
- Zone the bedroom for sleep and sex only. Go ahead, place a sign on the door! The bedroom has become a hangout place to do everything. It has lost its’ sacred essence. I recall awakening from my sleep because of rolling onto my laptop, cell phone or whatever work I brought to bed. Kick the office—or whatever—out of your bedroom and reclaim it as your sleep haven and for intimacy.
- Unplug––including the television. The best scenario is to not have a television or electronics in the bedroom, but if you must, set a specific time to turn them off. There is no way around it, you must power down for quality rest. Electronics provide cognitive stimulation which is the opposite of what you need to sleep. Put a stop to texting, emailing, browsing social media and watching television in bed––you can’t stay connected 24/7 and get restful sleep.
- Keep regular hours. Turning-in and rising at random times is a set up for fatigue. Establishing a routine matters. It trains your body and reinforces its’ natural circadian rhythm––internal clock. It is very important to pick a time you can maintain even on the weekends. A regular sleep schedule is a prerequisite for a healthier happier life.
- Meditate day and night. Add mediation to your bedtime routine.This is fantastic way to slow things down and shift your focus from daily busyness. It calms the mind and centers your thoughts. I generally light a candle and turn on my favorite guided meditation CD. The ideal time is approximately an hour before bedtime.
- Set the atmosphere for sweet dreams. I read that people who doze off in rooms painted in blue sleep the longest––that’s reason enough for me to pick up a gallon of blue paint. Some other bedroom makeovers include new bedding, candles, flowers or change the wall decor. Also, adjust the lighting and temperature in the room to keep it dark and cool.
- Don’t do it, don’t hit the snooze. I’ll be the first to admit I would set the snooze for thirty minutes before I actually had to get out of bed. But, the sleep after it sounded wasn’t exactly peaceful because I was concerned about oversleeping. So, turn off the alarm and rise and shine all in one motion. By the way, I rarely require an alarm clock to wake up anymore; a full night’s sleep is generally all that’s needed.
- Close the kitchen two hours before bedtime. Eating and going to straight to bed isn’t a good idea for many reasons. And, one of them is it can keep you tossing and turning. Avoid big heavy meals late at night; instead, have a small snack like greek yogurt, a smidgen of peanut butter and toast or popcorn. It goes without saying, not to have caffeine or alcohol close to retiring for the evening. Also, if you don’t want your sleep broken by the spasming of your bladder, be mindful of drinking too much water right before heading to bed.
Quality sleep is a part of a healthy lifestyle. So, sleep or sex only in the bedroom, unplug, get on a schedule, meditate, change the ambience, stop hitting the snooze button and shut down the kitchen earlier—sleep tight.