It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep is essential for every aspect of our well-being. Science has shown categorically that getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep we need on a consistent basis will help us stay healthy and fight off infection. Along with good nutrition and exercise, sleep is foundational for mental and physical health. It can lower anxiety, increase resilience, and improve our relationships. On the other hand, studies also show that sleep deprivation can contribute to serious medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes. But sometimes, after a busy or stressful day, winding down and drifting off to sleep is easier said than done.
Here are some simple tips from Thrive Challenge winners to help you get those all-important zzzs so you wake up recharged and ready for the day ahead.
- Set a nightly cut-off time for electronics and turn off your devices.
“I used to only get five hours each night. So now, I set an alarm on my phone for 8:30 p.m. each night. It reminds me to turn off the TV, put the phone away, and just go to sleep. I get enough sleep, I feel more alert in the morning, and I don’t feel grouchy or groggy anymore.”
— Kat Miranda, Walmart Supercenter #1664; Wilson, NC; $5K Winner
- Read a good book in bed.
“An hour before bed, I get off my laptop and read real books. I love amazing autobiographies like Just For the Love of It by Cathy O’Dowd, who climbed Mount Everest. It’s great learning about people’s fascinating lives and achievements, and reading helps me to relax and escape into another world. After a couple of chapters, I always fall asleep. I’m now getting the deep rest I need, and I wake up energized, ready to take on whatever challenges get thrown at me.”
— Evan Kranz, Neighborhood Market #4686; Bentonville, AR; $5K Winner
- Establish a relaxing wind-down routine before bed that works for you.
“As I nurse, I know that sleep is the best medicine, so I set an alert on my phone to remind me every evening, “whatever you are doing, stop now.” I make a relaxing cup of tea with lemon, honey, and ginger, and listen to peaceful music like Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” I close my eyes and meditate, emptying out all my emotions. And it works — I’ve been sleeping really well.”
— Fabiola Jean-Bart, Walmart Customer; Fredericksburg, VA; $5K Winner