Tips For Better Sleep
Sleep deprivation causes a number of ill health effects including an increase in weight, blood pressure and risk of heart attack. These are in addition to impaired memory, concentration, immune system and higher stress levels.
As someone who has struggled with sleep for the past few years, I can tell you sleep is not a luxury. It’s critical to our overall health and well being. I made a decision last month to really do all I could to get more quality sleep.
While some things interfering with my sleep were beyond my control, most were brought on myself. My biggest problem and still my biggest challenge today, is my work ethic. I can not tell you how many hours of sleep I’ve traded to get more work done. It’s just how I’m made. After my son was in bed, I would spend countless nights working into the wee hours of the morning. All nighters were fair game too.
I really believe in what I’m doing and love helping people. It just became habit to do my research and responses for my advocacy work at night in addition to my regular workload. I love it and would never complain. But I could no longer afford to sacrifice sleep. I knew I needed to make some changes.
My wonderful son spent an entire Saturday helping me make changes in my room to make it more sleep friendly including different furniture arrangement, lighting and curtains. He also holds me accountable for the bedtime routine and sleep schedule I created in an attempt to get more rest. You know it’s bad when your teenager has to tell you to go sleep!
I also got new bedding that I absolutely adore. Not only does it keep me the right temperature at night, but it is the most beautiful bedding I have ever owned. I wasn’t one of those girls with 52 pillows on her bed. But I am now. Okay, only seven, but still. I love them! When I walk in my room and see my bed, it instantly makes me happy and has a calming effect that I associate with sleep. I know it’s just bedding, but it sure has made a difference for me.
Other changes that have really made a difference for me personally are restricting work to outside of my bedroom, keeping my early morning alarms even on the weekends, and sticking to the bedtime routine I’ve created that includes herbal tea, a protein snack and no screen time.
For me personally, I sleep better with a protein snack before bed. You shouldn’t go to bed hungry or really full. You don’t want your stomach to have to digest a bunch of food as it can interfere with your sleep. But you don’t want to be hungry either. So I have a small protein snack before bed.
Now regardless of the reason why, I’m guessing many of you can relate to getting too little sleep. That’s why I wanted to share this post with you. I wanted to let you know some changes I’ve made that perhaps could help you too. I made these changes after spending some time on the National Sleep Foundation and Mayo Clinic’s website. I did some other research too and quickly found most everything was recommending the same things.
So to help you get a good night’s sleep, I put together a summary of tips for better sleep based on my research. Also, these two short but powerful articles from the National Sleep Foundation and Mayo Clinic will provide you with additional details for each tip!
Sleep well everyone!