We all know that eight hours of sleep is good for you. Because not only does being well rested make you more energized and mentally sharp, it also keeps your immune system strong, heals your skin and helps you to keep off those extra pounds.
Who knew that something as simple as sleep does so much cool stuff? Unfortunately we don’t always get the quality sleep we need for those cool things to kick in.
Here are a few relaxation ideas to help you reach this restorative part of our sleep cycle, known as REM sleep.
Stick To A Bedtime
Try going to bed at the same time every day. This will help set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep. Choose a time when you usually start to feel tired to avoid tossing and turning. If you’re getting enough sleep you will wake up naturally without an alarm. If you still need an alarm, you need to go to sleep earlier.
Turn Off Electronics
Turn off all screens at least 40 minutes before bedtime. That includes your phone and laptop. The light from these devices hinder the production of Melatonin, which is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Try to wind down by reading a book instead.
Darkness Is Best
When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark. Consider covering up fixed electronics that emit light. Black out curtains or curtain liners are a great way to block light from windows, or try a soft sleep mask.
Get Some Exercise
People who exercise regularly sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. Exercise also improves the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep. The more vigorously you exercise, the more powerful the sleep benefits. But even light exercise like going for a walk can improve your sleep quality.
Try A Relaxation Technique
Practicing a relaxation technique before bed is a great way to wind down, calm your mind, and prepare for sleep. Start with something simple like deep breathing exercises. Just close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last. You can also try adding a drop or two of essential oils to your pillow to promote relaxation.