You’ve probably heard this a million times, but let me make it clear: your sleep is so, SO important. It not only affects your mood (no one likes a grouchy co-worker in the AM), but it affects your ability to focus, your immunity, your waistline, how you age, etc. etc. Your body repairs while it is at rest. Without it, you have extra stress hormone hanging around. You’ve heard of our enemy- cortisol. Cortisol makes us eat added sugar and get snippy with our friends. Getting your beauty sleep isn’t vain, it’s crucial.
Anyway, studies show we’re not getting enough sleep because of our inability to put our phones down at night and the overwhelming anxiety that the majority of us seem to struggle with. If you haven’t heard, the blue light from our electronics is similar to daytime light from the sun, which tells our brains to be alert. This is not what we want when we’re trying to settle down at night!
Here are a few quick tips for better beauty sleep:
- Do not- I repeat- DO NOT work in your bed. Don’t do it. That is a sacred space for rest. Don’t bring your negative work energy into it. Not even emails. or Netflix. Use your bed for sleep and sleep alone. You don’t want your brain to associate your bed with a workspace or anything other than sleep. I personally don’t have a tv in my bedroom for this reason… may sound radical, but I swear it has helped me clean up my sleep hygiene.
- Have a cup of warm herbal tea. I LOVE Sleepytime tea. And yes, there is a tea you can buy in the tea aisle at your grocery store called “Sleepytime tea.” Get some. It’s tasty and oh so calming.
- Take a bath or warm shower before you get in bed. Bonus points if you include lavender bubble bath or Epsom salt. Epsom salt relaxes the muscles and helps with soreness. The warm water helps you wind down.
- Stretch and/or foam roll. Meditate. Say your prayers. The key is gentle movement here and taking time to reflect, reconnect with yourself, and think of what you’re grateful for. This helps reduce anxiety that could affect your sleep.
- Work out in the morning. Getting your sweat on in the A. M. can do more for you than just whittle your waistline. Working out tends to stimulate you and wake you up- it gets your blood flowing and raises your core temperature. Doing this in the morning will ensure you are actually sleepy for bedtime.
- Get yourself an essential oil diffuser: GUYS these things rock. They may seem all hippie-dippy but your room will smell like a spa and it makes a relaxing sound while it runs. Most diffusers have a timer so that they turn off by themselves after a while. According to the National Sleep Foundation, lavender, bergamot, and valerian are great essential oil scents for sleep.
- Empty your head with journaling. Don’t bother yourself with thoughts of what you have to do tomorrow, or what your boss said that really annoyed you. Write it all down and let it go.
Regardless of what you do in the evening to wind down before bed, make sure you have some sort of routine that your body starts to associate with sleep. And remember if you absolutely HAVE to use your phone or laptop before bed, at least turn off the blue light so that it doesn’t keep you awake. Notice I didn’t mention NUTRITION for better sleep? That’s a whole separate post 😉