We've all heard it before, "You need to get more sleep" However, we all know that this phrase is much easier said than done. Our modern lifestyles juggling full time careers along with being a parent is more than enough reason to not catch enough zzz's at night. Even though we don't have the magical potion to add more hours to our day (which would be amazing) there are are a few things that you can do to maximize your sleep hours.
1. Create a bedtime ritual
As human beings, we are creatures of habit. Therefore our bodies have the ability to adapt to routines that we have in place during the day. For many, the issue of not getting enough sleep is based on whether or not they can fall asleep in a reasonable timeframe. Creating a sleeping ritual is the perfect way for you to physically notify your mind and body that it is time to go to sleep. Some things to incorporate into your sleep routine can be:
- Drinking a small cup of warm tea or warm beverage
- Perform relaxing stretches to relax muscles
2. If you want more energy through the day, sleep on a good mattress
A large part of why you may not be waking up more refreshed in the morning for work is due to your mattress. Many people neglect the fact that old, unsupportive mattresses can cause your spine to not be aligned. This, in return, allows your body to not rest as comfortably during the night. Eventually when you wake up, you body abruptly informs you that, "Hey! I was uncomfortable ALL last night!" It definitely adds to the overall feeling of drowsiness when waking up in the morning and doesn't tend to make your morning commute any easier.
3. Sleep in complete darkness
As said before our bodies have the ability to adapt and sense things through natural cues. This also applies to our eyes and light. Our eyes have evolved in response to the natural daily patterns of light and darkness. These patterns are called circadian rhythms. Modern lighting has disrupted this inner natural clock.
Our friends over at the National Sleep Foundation say that that exposure to light stimulates a pathway from the eye to an area in the brain. This signals to other parts of the brain and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or awake. This natural rhythm is why it is imperative to try to fall asleep with as little light as possible. When we don't disrupt our bodies natral clock, we tend to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and waker more well rested.