Sleep Your Way Happy: 7 Simple Tricks to Wake Up Rejuvenated
Humans spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping. It's as essential to our bodies as breathing, eating, or drinking water. While getting a good night's rest seems like a reasonable idea, it's said that only 1 in 3 people get the recommended 7-8 hours, which can seriously impact a person's mental and physical health. The brain carries out many vital functions when we sleep, including our ability to fight disease, manage metabolism and rid our bodies of toxins. Many refer to sleep as a life support system—and we can see why!
Here are 7 simple remedies that can help you maximize your zzzs.
1. Color Control
We all know about the psychological effects color has on our psyche so choosing the right bedroom color plays a lead role in how we create a calming environment. Cooler shades like blues and greens have a calming effect, which can help slow down the way your brain functions, thus aiding you in falling asleep easier. On the other hand, warm colors such as red increase alertness, so these shades might not be the best choice for your bedroom (save oranges and reds for the kitchen!). There's also your personal preference to consider. See our most popular bedroom colors hereor speak to a professional about the best choice for you!
Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. - Thomas Dekker
2. Create a "Wind Down" Routine
Just like we have routines when we wake, we need to create a similar "wind-down" routine to help us mentally and physically prepare for a good night's rest. Some tips include:
Go for a short 10-minute walk after dinner
Don't eat too late (our bodies need time at night to detox)
Enjoy a warm bath with magnesium salts
Try chamomile tea, a magnesium drink like Calmor some tart cherry juice to help release melatonin!
Limit caffeine (none after noon) and alcohol (the sugars will disrupt your REM)
Set a bedtime alarm
Spritz your bedding with lavender, known to induce relaxation (your brain will start to make the connection!)
Turn off all devices at least 30-60 minutes hour before bed
Read or journal
3. Be Cool
WebMD says that temperature directly affects the quality and length of your sleep because the body has a fixed temperature setting that it attempts to reach during the night. So, make your room cool, dark and quiet. Dropping your body temperature to around 65 degrees is said to be the ideal sleep temperature while keeping your room dark naturally triggers the hormone melatonin. So, dim the lights and snuggle up. Maybe even try a weighted blanket to calm any jitters!
4. Invest in a Good Mattress
Who can sleep when they have coils poking them in the back? If you wake up sore or tired, it might be time to invest in a quality mattress. Considering we (ideally) sleep 8 hours a night, it's recommended that it be replaced about every 10 years, so it's an investment worth saving for! Be picky and make it personal. Consider the size, firmness, your body type-- and if you and your partner can't align on your ideal sleep style, plenty of mattresses have dual settings.
5. Lights Out
For all the insomniacs out there, it might be time to reconsider sleeping with a night light – or any light – on. Even seemingly innocent light sources can interfere with your body's production of melatonin, which helps ensure that your body gets enough rest. So, if possible, eliminate all light sources, including those emitted by electronic devices. It might even be time to try out that new silk sleep mask!
6. Create a Noise Free Zone
In the same way you need to eliminate light during bedtime, you also need to remove the noise, from ticking clocks to the TV. This will allow your brain to reach a more relaxed state. However, if too much silence keeps you on edge, try a meditative app like Calm or Headspace, which can help you relax through guided meditations, white noise, or nature sounds.
6. Write it Out
Many of us go to bed only to have our minds go 100 miles an hour, worrying, planning, or rehashing the day. One of the best ways to calm your mind is to keep a notepad beside your bed to write down any worries, and to-dos—or go one step further and write down three things you are grateful for.
7. Get Up
Wait, what? It might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes the best way to get back to sleep is to get up. After 20-30 minutes of sleeplessness, our minds will begin to associate the bed with being awake, so get up, read or do something else, and then return to bed when you're sleepy. You can help break the sleeplessness cycle by rewiring your brain to associate sleep with your bed.
PS – If you try all the tricks and still can't sleep, ask your doctor for recommendations!