tips for better sleep

You know those nights that you hit the pillow aiming for an early night’s sleep but toss and turn all night. You watch the clock go from midnight to one to two to three and then suddenly it is already time to wake up. Here are 6 tips to help you get the rest you need.

Get your fitness in

It is no surprise that my number one tip for getting better sleep is working out. A great way to set yourself up for a restful night is making sure that you tire yourself out during the day with enough exercise.

Whether it is waking up an hour early, taking a lunch break or hitting the gym post-work, it’s important to pick a workout time and make exercise a priority in your life.

Consume all caffeine before noon

If you are reading this, then you are most likely already feel sleep-deprived and are consistently reaching for that next cup of joe.

Coffee begins to affect your body very quickly, reaching peak levels within 30 to 60 minutes. It will then slowly breakdown in the next 3 to 5 hours. One study even found that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduces total sleep by 1 hour.

I have found that if I consume all of my caffeine for the day before noon then I am able to rest well. On the other hand, my boyfriend can drink an espresso and get a great night of sleep. Try cutting back on your coffee intake and see how you react.

Stick to a sleep schedule

Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This can be more easily said than done, especially on the weekend when you are completely changing your schedule. I love the iPhone bedtime functionality where you can set an alarm to tell you when to start winding down for bed.

You will notice that a consistent sleep schedule will reinforce a consistent sleep rhythm which reminds your brain when to release sleep and wake hormones and when not to.

Create a dark and serene environment

Very few people can sleep anywhere, and for those that can’t your sleeping environment is the most important aspect. Our bodies are programmed to wake up when it is light and sleep when it is dark. This is because light suppresses the production of melatonin which is the hormone secreted by the pineal gland that controls sleep cycles.

Living in Manhattan it was often hard to get complete blackness until I discovered my silk face mask (except now it is hard to wake up!). Now all I have to do is pop my silk mask on and all of the light is blocked out even if it is mid-Sunday.

Using Lavender essential oils is another great way to create a peaceful sleeping environment. Lavender works as an anxiety reliever and sedative, to increase relaxation and calm and helps with sleep. I use this Lavender essential oil by putting a drop or two on my pillow before bedtime and it works like a charm!

Limit alcohol consumption

A glass of wine before bedtime seems like the best way to drift off into dreamland. Although as you have probably learned from a few too many Friday nights out that when consuming alcohol before bed you actually are not able to fall into as deep of sleep as you would soberly.

This is because alcohol reduces rapid eye movement (REM). The more you drink the more pronounced these effects will be. So think twice before pouring that glass of red (your waistline will thank you too).

Develop a bedtime ritual

As addressed earlier you will want to stick to a sleep schedule. Make sure that when planning your sleep schedule you add in an additional 30 to 60 minutes that you can use as your bedtime winding downtime. Take a bath, listen to relaxing music, read a book, apply essential oils; use this time to practice what relaxes you the most.

These are just a few easy tips that you can start practicing today in order to get a better night’s sleep. Start with one or two and you will start to see that you are able to rest better and have more energy throughout the day.