Remember last month, when I told you all about the sleep problem in the US? This is a really big deal! It is so important that each of us gets a full night of uninterrupted sleep to keep us healthy.
Today, I want to share with you some Shut Eye Strategies to help you get the rest your body so desperately needs.
- Get Active Early: Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t just start when the sun sets. If you start out your day with exercise, it can actually strengthen your circadian rhythm. When you do this, it helps you become sleepy at night, and your body winds down faster.
- Sign Off: (Boy, this one is tough for me!) Put away your electronic devices one hour before you go to bed. The LED lights your phone and/or tablets emit can actually activate your brain and keep you from falling asleep and staying asleep at night.
- Get Comfortable: Allow your body to understand it’s time to wind down. Doing something as relaxing as taking a warm bath can help transition your mind and body from daytime to bedtime.
- Go Dark: Block out all the light. Darkness is a natural way to tell your body when it’s time to rest, just like light helps your body wake up. Light during the night can actually send a message to your brain telling it to wake up long before you’re ready.
I must admit, I do quite badly at most of these things. With 8 kids, it’s hard for me to get anything done, so the hours between their bedtime and mine are when I get the most work done. During the next month, I am going to change my habits, and do my best to get into a better sleep routine.
I’ve already started instilling the “Get Active Early” tip. I start my day before anyone else in the house, and it’s *early.* I get up, have my quiet time, then exercise for at least an hour. After I do that, I feel so much better! Now, I just have to work on the rest of the tips, and make my nighttime routine even better.
I am really nervous about the “Sign Off” challenge. My phone is usually attached to my hip, so I plan to plug my phone in beside my bed at least 1 hour before I’m planning on going to bed. I’m just going to have to find something else to do to help me relax for that hour. I usually read a book (on my phone, sigh!), in order to relax, but I think this month I’ll have to start visiting my local library and get some real books.
Next month, I’ll be sharing the results I get from putting these tips into practice. I bought a sleep tracker a couple of months ago, and I’m hoping to see some big changes in how long it takes me to fall asleep and how well I stay asleep during the night after I implement these tips. Right now, this is what a typical night looks like for me:
Pretty pathetic, right? It takes me forever to fall asleep at night, and then I don’t sleep well.
It’s time to change that, and it starts with signing off at night. I’m going to do this, and I’m going to do this well. Will you join me? Can you commit to shutting off your phone or your tablet a few nights this month and see if it improves your sleep? I promise we’ll both feel better if we do!
I also want to encourage you to check out WanttoSleepMore.com to learn more about how to get a full, uninterrupted night of sleep.