I love my sleep. I mean, I really love it. There is nothing more valuable to me than a good 8-9 hours of sleep every night for me to feel my best. While we may live in a world where people like to boast about their 5-6 hours of sleep, I don’t look at having an adequate amount of sleep as a luxury but more of a necessity for optimal living – at least not yet (shout out to all the new parents out there!).
WHY IS SLEEP SO IMPORTANT?
When you’re asleep, your brain triggers the release of hormones that regulate your mood, energy, and mental clarity. If you’re getting less than 7-8 hours a night, your brain is not able to fully “reset” and this will have negative effects on your concentration levels, your creativity, and your mood regulation among many other things. Your productivity will begin to suffer, you’ll likely get sick more often, and your overall quality of life will start to diminish if you rack up a lot of “sleep debt”.
Below are some sleep hacks I’ve picked up along the way that could help improve the quality of rest you’re getting each night, leading you to waking up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day!
- Stick to a schedule –
- Where possible and especially on the week days where you have more of a routine, stick to a schedule of when you’re going to go to sleep and when you’re going to wake up. This allows for your body’s circadian rhythm (i.e. your body’s own internal clock) to perform at its best. Over time, you will notice that you are able to wake up at or around the same time your alarm goes off when this internal clock is working as it should.
- Wear soft pajamas –
- Wearing pajamas that are made specifically for sleep (not leggings/workout clothes!) will trigger your mind that it’s time for sleep and allow you to get more relaxed beforehand. Also, what better excuse is there to buy a cute set than that?!
- Have a peaceful bedroom –
- If you are someone who works in bed, …don’t. It’s important to keep your bedroom separate from computers or TVs if possible as it will help to strengthen the association you have with your bedroom and sleeping. Create a separate space in your home for work and only allow your bedroom to be the peaceful haven that it is.
- Limit phone use and keep your phone as far away as possible –
- Keeping your phone out of reach when it’s time to slip in to bed will reduce your temptations to reach for it when you think you can’t sleep. Even better, if you stop electronic use 30 minutes before bed, you will have a better chance of falling asleep due to a lot of scientific reasons that can be better explained here.
- Relaxing teas, sounds and smells –
- Don’t underestimate the power of calming herbs, aromatherapy and relaxing sounds to help get you prepped for sleep. I will link some good options at the bottom of this post! These products are designed to help you relieve tension and feel more calm as you drift off.
- Sleep masks & silk pillowcases –
- If you don’t want to invest in blackout curtains, sleep masks are the perfect option to feel like a princess and block out any light that may be coming through the window or a hall light. Silk pillowcases are an added luxury I’ve recently invested in as they do not absorb your night creams, snag your hair, or get too warm like their cotton counterparts can. Your hair and skin will retain their moisture during the night and you’ll wake up looking and feeling your best!
I hope some of these tricks and products below inspire you to add a few of these to your nighttime routine. Enjoy!