Getting a restful night’s sleep is the foundation for having a great morning, good health, and being your best the next day. If your time spent in bed is less that optimal then the quality of your life is lower than it needs to be.
Sleep research tells us that in order to receive a good night’s sleep, our bedrooms need to meet a few criteria. Today’s blog will inform you on how to set up your environment for sleep success.
1. Create a sleep ritual.
Humans are creatures of habit. Doesn’t it make sense to set your habits up to help you achieve your goals instead of the other way around?
Habits are nothing more than behaviors that are set off by a trigger. To establish a sleep ritual, simply set up a trigger such as a set time every night that leads you to a series of behaviors ending up with you falling asleep. Things like taking a warm bath, reading a good novel, setting out tomorrow’s clothes or snuggling with your spouse are all relaxing steps you could add to your ritual.
The important thing to remember is that your ritual must be relaxing. You should also try to avoid things like exercise and stressful conversations. You should also turn off your computer or smartphone an hour before bed.
Exercise raises your heartbeat and your body temperature for a few hours making it difficult to fall asleep. Computers and smartphones have such a bright light they end up tricking your brain into thinking it is daytime, which lowers your levels of the sleep hormone melatonin released by your brain. This results in you taking longer to fall asleep, thus limiting your actual time sleeping. It is highly recommended by sleep experts to turn your electronics off at least an hour before bed.
2. Cool down your room to 68 degrees or less.
An excellent way of increasing the amount of melatonin released by your brain is by lowering the room temperature. As our body temperature drops with the rooms, melatonin is released, causing us to fall into a peaceful sleep. It is the same reason a hot bath or shower before bed helps you to fall soundly asleep.
3. Use a peaceful floor fan to block out noise.
White noise from a fan can really help to block out all the disturbing sounds in your environment while also serving as a trigger for falling asleep. This accounts for why little kids fall asleep quickly in the car. The rhythmic noise of the road acts almost like a tranquilizer. Since you can’t drive around and sleep, a fan is the next best thing.
4. Practice Mindfulness.
Once you finally turn off the lights and your head hits the pillow, try relaxing by clearing your mind and focusing on your breathing.
Repeat the following to yourself, “As I breathe in, and as I breathe out, I am allowing myself to just relax, now, as I am breathing in, and as I am breathing out, I am sinking deeper and deeper into a state of deep relaxation.” Say this over and over while sending your thoughts directly into you muscles. Try imagining the tension and stress flowing off your body and onto the floor as you sink deeper and deeper into your mattress.
By focusing on your breath and relaxing your body, you are clearing your head and directing your body to relax. Don’t worry if your mind drifts off and you start thinking of something else. The key to practicing mindfulness is once you catch your thoughts drifting off, to calmly redirect them to your breathing. If you struggle with this, you might want to purchase a meditation program to help you learn how. After a while, you will find yourself being able to relax easier and quicker.
The foundation for a great tomorrow begins with a restful night’s sleep. Experiment with creating a routine that allows you to sleep peacefully and then get committed to making it a regular part of your life. After all, what good is more success if it comes at the price of your overall health and well-being.
Question: What’s your secret to a great night’s sleep? You can leave a comment by clicking here.