Establishing healthy sleep habits is a key to optimal health and well-being.
Below you will find 6 tips to healthy sleep habits that I’ve found very useful and lullabying. You may know that caffeine and alcohol can disturb your sleep, and that eating a heavy meal after 10 pm is not optimal if you want a good night sleep. But did you know that your bedroom environment can play a key role in your sleep health?
Read on and explore some healthy sleep habits you (maybe) didn’t know of.
1: Use Light to Your Advantage
– increase bright light exposure during the day
Natural sunlight and bright light exposure during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration. Make sure you get light exposure first thing in the morning and get out for a sun (light) break during the day. It affects your brain, body, and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it’s time to sleep.
Let the sun wake you up.
2: Optimize your bedroom environment
– Make your bedroom relaxing and delightful
Many people agree that optimizing your bedroom environment is a healthy sleep habit. This includes temperature, external noise, furniture arrangement, light, and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks. By making this a priority you will make your bedroom relaxing, clean and enjoyable – and promote a good night’s sleep.
I would add that investing in high quality organic bedding has been a real booster for my sleep. Also including some fresh flowers to your bedroom environment – like peace lily or lavender – can have a calming, sedentary effect and improve sleep.
Flowers and fresh beddings are my favorite.
3: Relax and clear your mind in the evening
– Create a soothing pre-sleep routine
Developing a soothing pre-sleep routine can be very useful if you want a good night’s sleep. It’s never a good idea to have a heated discussion or stressful work session before you put your head on the pillow. This can cause your body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness.
What you want to do before going to bed is to relax and clear your mind. Taking a bath or shower promotes drowsiness because of the rise and fall in body temperature. If you don’t want to take a full bath at night, simply bathing your feet in hot water can promote the same effect.
Other strategies can be listening to relaxing music, reading a book, meditating, deep breathing, and visualization. There are many different methods, so find out what works best for you.
Enter a calming state of mind.
4: Write down (or talk about) your dreams
– Preferably first thing in the morning
You can believe in dreams interpretation or not. But it’s a fact that dreams are universal and true to the person experiencing them. They are out of our control in the sense that we can’t decide if we dream or not – and sometimes our dreams can be really disturbing.
I choose to not blindly ignore them, but actually try to interpret the what-and-why about them – for the sake of understanding myself better and improving my sleep quality.
Take 5 minutes first thing in the morning and write down or talk to your loved one about your sleep and dream that night. Sometimes you don’t remember anything, other times you write and write (or talk and talk). At least you get to clear your head from the dream world and get a fresh start to your day.
Dream world vs. real world.
5: Listen to your body
– Sleep when you’re truly tired and get up when you wake up
Struggling to fall sleep just leads to frustration. Instead of increasing your frustration by lying restless in bed, make this part of your healthy sleep habit regime; get out of bed if your not asleep after 20 minutes. Go to another room, and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep.
The same can be said for your morning routine. When you wake up – get up. Even if it’s 7 am on a Saturday morning and you’ve felt tired the whole week so you were looking forward to sleep in. You will feel so much better during the day (after the hard struggle of giving up more sleep), if you make this a habit.
Body and mind aligned.
6: Follow through with your sleep habits
– find out what works best for you
Some of these tips will be easier to include in your daily and nightly routine than others. However, if you stick with them, your chances of achieving restful sleep can greatly improve. Human beings are more alike than different, but you need to find out what works best for you and your life.
The take from this article is that establishing healthy sleep habits is a key to optimal health and well-being. Sleep plays a key role in your health, so make it a top priority.
Peaceful sleep, joyful couple.