Sleep. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s hard. We all struggle at times with getting enough sleep. It does affect our brains whether we get good sleep or when we are sleep-deprived. When we’re sleep-deprived, we might not even be making the right decisions about what we eat and neglect habits that might help our brains (and the rest of our bodies). Here are some tips to help you get to sleep.
Did you know sleep is one of the best ways to detox your brain? It is! Read the article on how to Detox Your Brain Naturally to read more about it….
I found an interesting article in O, The Oprah Magazine, July 2019 by Jessica Migala on smart moves during the day to help you sleep at night. It’s really different from a lot of other advice out there. Plus I found some other little gems to help with sleep which I’ll pepper throughout. Please read on for.. Tips to Help You Get to Sleep and rest better.
- 1 Before Noon… Light!
- 2 Breathing – Quality and Quantity
- 3 Melatonin Natural Sleep Hormone
- 4 Bacopa Monnieri Herbal
- 5 Stop the Caffeine Early
- 6 Visualization
- 7 Rituals
- 8 Environment
- 9 Getting Back to Sleep…
- 10 There You Have It… Tips to Help you Get to Sleep
Before Noon… Light!
It’s not just what you do at night, it’s what you do in the morning too!
It is suggested to seek out bright light for 30 minutes, either all at once or in intervals, before noon. This helps to keep you on your natural circadian rhythm, your body clock. Apparently, it reduces the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone so you can stay alert during the day when you’re supposed to. Not only that… Guess what? Bright natural light helps cognitive performance and improves your mood.
On that topic, Migala says that sunglasses in the morning might fool your brain into thinking it’s still in bedtime mode. It is suggested only to wear them during your morning commute when it’s really bright out, go without if you can in the morning and do wear them later in the day to help trigger that melatonin shift.
There are some lights that mimic sunlight out there. For example:
Breathing – Quality and Quantity
Not breathing well or having sleep apnea obviously affects how we sleep and how easy it is to go to sleep. Bad air quality can inflame our airways and sinus passages, making it hard to breathe while sleeping. It is suggested to try a HEPA air filter indoors and not exercise near busy streets or known polluted areas outdoors.
Be Your Best Self at Work
Unless you’re the boss, you probably didn’t choose your coworkers. If you said something you regret, lost your cool with a coworker or told a white lie, that can gnaw at you when trying to fall asleep at night. Or maybe it’s just dealing with difficult people. Jessica noted a study by the Journal of Applied Psychology that dwelling and stewing over things that happened at work is similar to going to bed angry.
Try to make amends with coworkers and at least wish them a good night before leaving for the day so you feel better about your workday. We can’t control what others do, we can only control our response to them. Feel good about you…
Melatonin Natural Sleep Hormone
As we already talked about, Melatonin is produced by the body when it thinks it’s time to go to sleep. Well, as you might know, this can happen at the wrong time of day if you’re circadian rhythm is out of whack. Here is a way to add Melatonin at the time you choose to go to bed and.. Sleep!
Bacopa Monnieri Herbal
Bacopa Monnieri is a great helper to get to sleep too. It definitely relaxes you and takes away stress and anxiety. I’ve been taking this in the evenings after dinner and I have been sleep really well. 🙂
Related Article: Bacopa Monnieri Benefits
Stop the Caffeine Early
It’s common sense but it’s surprising to know that caffeine can still be keeping you awake up to six hours after you consume it. If you do consume coffee or caffeinated beverages, cut it off about six hours before you’d like to go to bed. If you need some energy, try some burst exercise, walk up a flight of stairs or go for a quick walk. Ten minutes of this is equal to about a cup of coffee.
Highly Recommended for morning: Bulletproof Coffee
Keeping your body on a schedule really helps your sleep cycle. It is recommended to make a daily routine of eating meals at regular times and avoid snacking too close to bedtime to hopefully prevent any reflux or indigestion before bed. Makes sense.
Avoid drinking too many liquids in the evening so you aren’t running for the toilet during the night.
Do you have a special place that makes you feel at peace? Maybe it’s fishing in a mountain stream, a waterfall, a meadow full of flowers, the beach… whatever it is, visualize it when you go to bed if you’re having stressful thoughts invading at bedtime. Focus only on that. Don’t let those other thoughts in. Besides, there isn’t anything you can do about those things anyway at that moment. You’ll be better equipped to deal with them after you get some good rest. 🙂
- Read a book that takes you away.
- Dim the lights in the hours before bed
- Take a bath
- Simple preparations for tomorrow
- Work on your favorite hobby
- Yoga or meditation
Keep your room dark, cool, and quiet. Most people sleep better with a slightly cool room. If you have outside noise, try earplugs. I personally, swear by this. Don’t use your bed to work, watch TV or use your computer. It confuses your brain into thinking this is where you work. Also, you can turn your electronic screens to night mode after a certain time. It’s in Display Settings. That way you are getting warm light (which helps your circadian rhythm) instead of daytime blue light so you can go to sleep easier.
Make sure your bed is comfortable. If you wake up with a sore back or neck, try a different firmness of mattress or foam toppers or pillows that provide more or less support.
Getting Back to Sleep…
If you do wake up during the night, don’t stress about it. Just focus on breathing and your body. Focus on relaxing, not sleeping (takes the pressure off). Try the visualization again. Postpone worrying and brainstorming.
If you wake up with a fantastic idea, write it down and forget about it until tomorrow.
There You Have It… Tips to Help you Get to Sleep
I hope you found this helpful. It’s not just what we do at night but also during the day that helps us to sleep when we’re supposed to and function Much better during the day. Plus our brains will thank us for it.
If you have any questions, experience to share or comments, please leave them below. I’ll be sure to respond. Thank you!
Migala, J. (July 2019) Your Way- Before-Bedtime Routine, Make these smart moves during the day to get your best rest at night. O, The Oprah Magazine.
Smith, M. Robinson, L., and Segal, R. (2019) How To Sleep Better. https://whttps://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/getting-better-sleep.htm