Sleeping tips. Daylight Savings Time snuck up us this year, right?!
Maybe at first the extra hour of sleep was a DREAM. BUT, DST can also affect your sleep negatively by throwing off your sleep patterns.
I'm sure you've heard all of the juicy facts before, but it can't be said enough! Sleep is sooooo important for both your body and your brain. Getting the right amount for your own body can have incredible benefits, both short term and long term.
Good sleep not only improves your focus and energy levels during the day. It also aids in weight loss, healthy skin and hair, digestion, and lower your stress and anxiety – um, yes please!
On the dark side, not getting enough sleep decreases your performance, throws off your body's systems and even leads to things like depression, heart disease, and other immune system issues in the long run – yikes!
You might be the healthiest person ever all day long. But in short, if you're not backing it up with good sleep, you're actively hurting your efforts. So, here are some tips to help you stay consistent and make sure that you continue to get the beauty sleep you need!
Stick To A Routine
Come up with a routine for bedtime. For example, you might get into your pajamas, make yourself a cup of tea, do some pre-bed stretches, and read a book every night. Your body will take these cues as signs that it needs to start winding down to shut off for the night. Choosing a set time to go to sleep and wake up. Sticking to it will also help establish your body clock (aka your circadian clock – more on that HERE). Then you'll fall asleep and wake up more easily (where my snoozers at?!). Your body will be able to anticipate when it's bedtime both by your circadian clock as well as the environmental cues that you're giving it. So by the time your head hits the pillow, falling asleep will be so easy!
The blue light that your cell phone, computer, television, makes it more difficult to fall asleep. But it also hurts your quality of sleep. Turn your phone off or put it away two or three hours before bedtime. It gives your eyes and brain a break before it's time to wind down. That cute boy you've been texting with will still be there in the morning, girl!
Create A Comfy Environment
If your bedroom isn't comfortable or relaxing, switch it up! Get blackout shades or a cozy-scented soy wax candle. Buy a cute new comforter if you have to! Falling asleep can be tricky in a dorm room or shared bedroom, so invest in an eye mask and some ear plugs. It will allow you isolate yourself mentally. Because you don't need to be kept awake by reading lights, music, or girlfriends chatting. Whatever it is, just make sure that when you get in bed at night, your sleep space puts you at ease.
Essential Oils are such a valuable tool. Pure oils like lavender and sandalwood can be really useful in your bedtime routine. Try diffusing some in the room as you fall asleep, or spray some on your pillow! Make sure that you do your research and figure out which essential oils are good to use for sleep. Some can irritate your skin if they're sprayed on your pillow or can make you more alert rather than putting you to sleep. (psst if you don't know where to look, try this articleabout the best oils for the job!)
Don't Be Afraid To Press RESET
If you're battling insomnia or are stressed about getting sleep and can't seem to get some shuteye, you need a reset! Make sure not to look at the clock, as this can give you even more anxiety. Then you'll start counting hours and worrying about the sleep that you're not getting. In this instance, ignorance is bliss. Get out of bed, read a book, have a cup of decaffeinated tea, and allow your body to take another crack at bedtime.
The Last Resort
Natural sleep supplements like melatonin are okay to use in healthy doses and in necessary situations. BUT using them long term, or frequently, can be unhealthy for your body and can hurt your ability to fall asleep naturally. Dependence is something you want to stay away from, and help your body learn to put itself to sleep on its own!
Applying these tips and tricks for fabulous sleep will leave you feeling ah-mazing, on either side of the pillow, so hopefully you're browsing amazon for some essential oils or a cute eye mask, and are thinking about how you're going to spruce up your pre-bedtime routine! Daylight Savings Time has nothing on you, girl!