It seems like a good night’s sleep is elusive these days. Something that is natural, something we do every day, it escapes us. Why? –Is it rising levels of anxiety? –Too much caffeine? –A sign of these unprecedented times we are living in? Or is it physical: a malfunction within the body or the brain keeping us from achieving proper sleep cycles?
RELATED READING :: Why You Should Not Sleep Near Your Phone
Whatever the reason, there are certainly many things that can keep us up at night these days. In some situations, medical intervention might be the only answer. However, if you’re not quite there yet, here are some basic practices that should get ya sleeping better. Baby steps toward blissful slumber are made via tiny changes in our daily habits.
- Cut out caffeine after 3 p.m.: And, depending on your results, you might have to stop drinking it at Noon. –Look, I would never tell a mom to give up caffeine altogether! Just get your lattes in during the a.m. hours, maybe a Coke Zero (my vice of choice) at like 1 p.m. but then no more. And keep on the lookout for other vessels of caffeine besides coffee…some people even have to give up chocolate at night. Try a sparkling water as a replacement to soda or herbal tea if you’re craving an after-dinner coffee.
- No screens before bed: The blue light emitted from television, tablets & phone screens send signals to the brain that can really mess up your circadian rhythm. I heard one stat that said the temperature of electronic screen light triggers your brain into thinking it is Noon! There are some small measures you can take when consuming content at night: wear blue light blocking glasses (if you have them) when watching TV and put your phone into dark mode. Even better, turn off screens two hours before bed.
- Try oils: Essential oils. CBD. Whatever oil people are using these days is intriguing to you, some are attached to claims of aiding in relaxation & sleep. Lavender essential oil can be relaxing and calming. CBD can give relief from pain & anxiety, making room for sleep to take over. There are various methods of taking them: mixed in water, applied to the skin, or added to your bath water.
- Keep the room cool & sleep naked: Tight pjs can restrict the flow of blood and lymph within your system, which is part of the body’s reparative function that occurs during sleep. They also inhibit temperature regulation & perspiration, another “cleaning house” job that gets done while sleeping. You may not be comfortable sleeping in the nude but watch out for sleep pants with tight elastic waistlines & other straps that press into the skin. The Sleep Foundation advises that the best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit.