4 Tips for a Sounder Sleep
Let’s talk about sleep and how important it is to your emotional, mental and physical well-being. When you’re sleep deprived, you literally can’t function—you’re cranky, you can’t focus and you cry over the smallest things. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average person requires eight to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep for optimal functioning. The reality: the average person doesn’t come close to that. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones who gets a restful 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, we envy you. But if you’re like the majority—the sheep counters, the ceiling gazers, the toss-and-turners—we have some tips to help you improve your sleep. And it starts with a better wind-down routine.
1. STEP AWAY FROM YOUR SMARTPHONE
This isn’t breaking news, but it’s worth repeating (and repeating). The anxiety and stress from cell phone use (or should we say, the content) is enough to keep you tossing and turning for days. If your wind-down routine includes scrolling your Instagram feed or watching TikTok until 2am, it’s probably in your best (sleep)interest to scroll a few hours before you slip into the sheets.
Another reason to ditch your smartphone pre-sleep: Studies show light from your smartphone or computer can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime. “While our favorite devices are convenient and have likely become integral to our everyday lives, they may also be sabotaging your sleep by producing artificial blue light and inhibiting your body’s ability to produce melatonin,” says Dr. Michael Breus, PhD and founder of the sleepdoctor.com. Experts advise powering down a good 90 minutes before bed.
2. SHOWER YOURSELF INTO A SLEEPY STATE
A hot bath or shower 90 minutes before bed may help you fall asleep faster. Hot water changes your body’s core temperature, which signals the body to relax and feel sleepy. Add in an aromatic bath wash and you up your relaxation factor even more. After your shower or bath, make sure to hydrate head-to-toe. Dry, itchy skin is a notorious sleep stealer. Take a moment to apply a skin-soothing moisturizer, like Mega-Mushroom Relief and Resilience Soothing Cream (it comforts dry, red skin thanks to Chaga and Reshi mushrooms) and a super hydrating body lotion, like A Perfect World™ Intensely Hydrating Body Cream (it’s loaded with soothing white tea). You can even try using some massage techniques—like applying light pressure to your legs and feet as you massage in the lotion—to induce an even greater relaxed state.
3. CUT BACK ON THE COCKTAILS
Drinking anything before bed is probably not the best idea, but drinking alcohol disrupts your sleep even more. “Alcohol may help you get to sleep, but it doesn’t help you get quality sleep,” says Dr. Breus. “The consistent sleep interruptions brought on by alcohol use also make it harder for you to reach REM sleep, the important final stage of sleep that helps regulate mood and improve memory retention,” he adds. Experts advise limiting your consumption, as well as ending cocktail hour at least three hours before bed.
4. SET THE MOOD
You don’t have to turn your bedroom into a luxury spa, but considering you spend 1/3 of your day there, giving it a cozy makeover makes sense. Comfortable temperature, natural lighting (orange and red light is preferred because they are less likely to shift your circadian rhythm), eliminating external noise and even how you arrange your furniture can contribute to a better bedroom environment. On your bedside table, leave a calm-inducing essential oil or a product like Peace of Mind On-The-Spot Relief (available in October), which uses basil and eucalyptus oils to help melt away stress and relax the senses.
Wait, does anyone else suddenly feel sleepy? Dream on.