Let’s be real—there’s no better feeling in the world than being all burrito’d up in your favorite comforter, snoozing away the stresses of the day. However, bigger things are at play during the night than comfort! Sleep helps maintain a healthy immune system, balances appetite, regulates hormones, repairs muscle, restores brain function and sets us up for success in the waking hours. And yeah, while life is busy and sometimes sleep is hard to come by, it’s crucial you catch the proper ZZZs. If you’re having trouble, here are some helpful tips for creating an optimal sleep space!
White Noise for the Win
Never underestimate the power of some quality background noise. Whether a soothing sound machine or the familiar whirr of a ceiling fan, level background noise reduces the risk of being woken up by sharper sounds like door slams and car honks. Basically, it sets a new standard for what your brain is used to dealing with—because even when we sleep, sharp or jarring noises affect us. Having the low hum of a repetitive, consistent noise increases our chances of staying asleep.
The No-Phone Zone
Look, we totally get it—phone culture is king. We’re all for the coexistence of the digital space and real life, but when it comes to sleep, it’s time to power down those devices. Studies suggest that the blue/white light given off by your phone may prevent the brain from releasing melatonin, which is the hormone that tells us it’s night. This makes it harder to fall asleep and can mix up our internal clocks. About an hour before you go to sleep, put your phone to bed first—we recommend keeping it at a charge station across the room so it’s not far but you’re not as tempted!
Your Bed is for SLEEP!
Some people snack in bed, some watch movies and some even catch up on paperwork or emails. Makes sense, but consider pumping the breaks! If we do other activities in bed, our brains start to associate that space with those activities. That means, when you lay down at night, your body is physically ready to do whatever it believes it's programmed to do in that environment. If you sleep in your bed, and nothing else, your body and mind will find it easier to calm down, relax and get to snoozin’.
Stick to a Routine
In the hour before bed, create a routine of relaxing activities that’ll get you settled for bed. Take a bath, practice relaxation exercises or whatever it is you like best! Most importantly, avoid stressful or stimulating activities. It’s time to wind down! Keep this routine around the same time every night, and you can slowly train your body to accept routine (which it craves!) and settle into a familiar sleep schedule.