- It can cause you to be less alert, less able to focus, and less able to problem solve.
- It hinders your ability to lose weight (and can actually cause you to gain weight).
- Causes your skin to age faster.
- Impairs your memory.
- Can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure - both of which can be fatal.
- Increases risk of depression and anxiety.
It’s 11 p.m.
You’re staring at the ceiling, rolling over, tossing and turning, then staring at the ceiling again. Your mind is going a million miles a minute and you just can’t settle down to a peaceful enough state so you can fall asleep.
Is there anything more frustrating?
Sometimes our bodies are in overdrive and our adrenaline is pumping, whether it’s from physical activity, a stressful conversation, or too many worries on our minds.
The good news is that there are certain things you can do to help your mind relax, so you can drift off into blissful sleep.
1. Turn off your devices.
Sometimes it’s not about knowing what to do, it’s doing what we already know. We’ve been told time and time again to put our screens away at least an hour or two before bedtime. If you’re not already doing this, you’ll be surprised at the difference it can make when you start.
2. Exercise - in the morning.
We know that exercise can help us to sleep better, but exercising in the afternoon or later can get our bodies energized to the point of being unable to settle down for sleep. If you normally exercise after work, try exercising on your lunch break instead. If at all possible, get up earlier and work out first thing in the morning. BONUS: your body burns body fat more efficiently on an empty stomach!
3. Warm skin, cool room.
One of the best feelings ever is rolling over to feel the coolness of the unused side of the pillow against your cheek. It’s so comforting to snuggle down into warm sheets when the air is chilly. A great way to do this is to set your room to cool down by lowering the AC temperature or opening a window in the winter, and then take a warm bath or shower while the room cools. When you get out, your warm skin will feel the comfort of the cool air, and getting under the blanket will only amplify that comfort to further relax you.
4. Empty your brain.
Put a worry box next to your bed, where you can write down your worries and concerns then lock them away. Keep a notepad on your nightstand so you can write down any pressing to-dos or reminders for the next day, so you can release any anxiety of forgetting them. Gratitude is also hugely important for peace of mind when falling asleep. Consider journaling things for which you’re grateful before turning off the lights. BONUS TIP: Lavender essential oil is fantastic for helping your brain to slow down and turn off.
5. Settle your stomach.
The harder your body is working to process what you’ve eaten, the more unsettled it will be and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Avoid spicy foods, anything with caffeine, cheese, alcohol, fatty foods, and chocolate. The best foods and drinks to consume closer to bedtime are warm milk, lemon tea, bananas, kiwi, nuts, and honey.
It’s easy to feel frustrated and as though sleep is just beyond our grasp, but there are so many things we can do to prepare our bodies to fall asleep easily and peacefully.
Click here to grab your free Sleep Checklist with more tips to make sure you’re getting a great night’s sleep!
Monday morning. 6 a.m. Your alarm goes off and your first thought is to tap that Snooze button once or twice, because really, you don’t have to get out of bed until 6:30 a.m.
But wait - those extra few minutes of “sleep” could actually do you more harm than good, and here’s why.
Think about the stages of sleep: light, then deep, and finally REM.
Light: your heart rate slows and body temperature drops.
Deep: your body is regrowing tissue, building bone and muscle, and strengthening your immune system.
REM: this is the good stuff, when your body goes through all of its restorative process.
This whole cycle takes about 90 minutes, and different stages are repeated throughout the night.
When your body wakes up, and then returns to sleep but isn’t able to process through a full cycle, it can result in:
Inability to concentrate
Inability to recall or retain information
Those aren’t quite the health goals we’re reaching for!
So how can you break the snooze button habit?
Good news - it’s easier than you think with just a few simple tweaks.
Put your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room, so you have to physically get up to turn it off.
Start going to bed 10 minutes earlier each night, until you’re consistently going to sleep 30 minutes earlier than you were. If you’re still tired upon waking, repeat until you’re getting to bed an hour earlier.
Make sure your sleep is productive, by discontinuing use of electronic devices 90 minutes before bed, ensuring your mattress is comfortable, the temperature in your house is cool enough, and your room is dark and quiet.
Avoid caffeine by mid-afternoon (even if you think you fall asleep just fine with a double espresso before bed, it could hinder your sleep quality)
Find something that makes you excited to get up, like a new workout, a new devotional book, a morning beverage you love.
Exercise regularly. The ideal is at least 30 minutes per day, but even just 10 minutes will give you some major benefits.
You’ll find that the more often you wake up as soon as that alarm goes off, the more alert and rested you’ll feel during the day.
Tell me, which of these tips do you think you can implement today to help you break the snooze habit?
And if you’re looking for more energy throughout the day, be sure to grab my free guide on 5 Ways to Boost Your Energy!