Sleep needs can vary depending on your age, lifestyle, and preference, but the general guidelines are 7-8 hours for adults and 9-10 hours for children per night…although many survive on less. In order to turn that survive into thrive, here are 10 simple tips and tricks to help you get to sleep faster, more soundly, and longer to function at your best.
Try some of the ideas below to find out what tricks, or combination of tricks, work best for you!
- Exercise! (Coach may be a little biased with this one!)
Whether it’s a child after an energetic play session or an avid-exerciser after a hard-core workout the sleep that comes after intense activity usually comes quickly and soundly. Additionally, the right type of activity, such as a gentle yoga or stretch session, can calm the mind and body to prepare for a good night’s recovery sleep.
- Nap smart
“Cat naps” should be short and power-charging as opposed to 2hr “sleeps” (as opposed to “naps”) that can confuse your internal sleep clock. Keep naps to around 30mins.
- Light up your Day, but Darken your Night!
Our bodies are naturally tuned into the daily light cycle so by maximizing exposure to natural sunlight during the day and limiting light during the evening, particularly from the blue spectrum that comes from most digital devices, will help work WITH your natural body rhythms to maximize your down time.
–Get outside during the day for some Vitamin D!
–Slowly turn down the ambient light in your rooms as you head into the evening.
–Monitor the amount of light in your bedroom by utilizing blackout curtains to block outside light disturbances like street lights or the headlights of passing cars.
- Have a routine
The more you can stay to a standard wake/sleep schedule the better. Your body will coordinate the release of relaxing hormones when it’s time to put your head on the pillow and push out the stimulating ‘wake-up!’ hormones when it’s time to get going in the morning.
- Temperature…both yours and your bedroom
Your body has internal temperature shifts that are in tune with your sleep/wake cycle, so whether you are assisting your body’s natural evening core temperature cool down with a cold shower or opt for something warm and relaxing like a hot beverage you can help your body prepare for slumber.
Studies have shown that keeping the room temperature between 65-70’F is the most comfortable sleeping temperature for most people, so setting the thermostat, opening the windows, or turning on the ceiling fan can have you snuggled up and snoozing!
- Distance the distractions.
–Place the phone on the charger…IN ANOTHER ROOM with DO NOT DISTURB mode set. If you need an alarm…use an alarm clock as those don’t buzz, ding, and ring with messages, notifications, and emails all night long or tempt you with internet searches or social media binges. 🙂
–Leave the laptop on the desk and avoid bringing work to bed.
- Strategize your meal times and hydration.
While the western diet leans towards large dinners, those can disrupt your ability to meet up with Mr. Sandman. If your digestive system is still working on breaking down your last feast of a meal then that can interfere with the shutdown that happens when we sleep.
Also, try to avoid caffeine or alcohol in the evening as both can interfere with deep sleep. It’s also recommended to limit fluids before bedtime as they can cause frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night! Sleep is good, but uninterrupted sleep is even better!
- Sleep Supplements
When and how much we eat is not the only way we can help to have a super sleep session as we can also use supplements to facilitate a restful slumber. Coach Andrea’s go to is Advocare’s SleepWorks* as it has a multitude of the ingredients recommended for getting to sleep and staying asleep.
*This is an affiliate link so please contact the coach to find out more!
- There’s an app for that!
Use a sleep app to help quiet the mind from going over the day’s events, planning for the following day, or scheming your world domination strategy! These can be apps that include mediations, calming sounds, or simple white noise; try a few apps to see which one works for you! Coach Andrea’s favorite is HeadSpace!
- Set an alarm…to go to bed!
If you struggle to turn off the tv, stop the homework, or take a break from a project to get to bed then try Coach Andrea’s trick of setting an alarm. A simple notification that it’s time for bed ACTUALLY can help to put a deadline on tasks that can otherwise rob you of precious hours of sleep.