10 Tips For Better Sleep
A good night’s sleep provides countless benefits for your health, one of which being the amazing affect it has on your skin. However, amidst our busy, stressful and exhausting lifestyles, proper sleep tends to take a backseat to work, relationships, partying and Netflix binges. If getting a proper sleep is a concern of yours, giving these 10 tips a try will help improve the quality of your slumber, so you can awaken every day with a bright, glowing face!
FALL ASLEEP AND WAKE UP AT THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY
This may seem like a daunting task, but in the long run it will greatly boost the quality of your sleep, and in turn your ability to function throughout the day. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day (even on weekends) give or take about 2 hours will condition your body to fall asleep and wake up naturally. Staying up and sleeping in negatively affects your body clock, making it harder to get back into a proper sleep routine come Sunday night.
CUT CAFFEINE AND OTHER STIMULANTS CLOSE TO BEDTIME
Coffee, heavy meals, cigarettes and alcohol each have nasty affects on your sleep, and here is why you should avoid each of them close to bedtime:
Caffeine is best avoided past early afternoon, since it stays in your system longer than you may think. That energy drink or venti latté you felt you absolutely needed at 2pm in order to get through the rest of the day may actually be what is preventing you from falling asleep come 11:00.
Nicotine is a stimulant, so smoking within 2 hours of bedtime can keep you awake.
A big meal before bed causes your body to digest while you sleep, preventing you from fully getting into sleep mode. A good rule of thumb is to try to not eat anything substantial about 3 hours before you hit the sack.
While an alcoholic beverage may seem like a good way to fall asleep, alcohol actually makes it harder to stay asleep.
SET A LATER MORNING ALARM
Hitting the snooze over and over again isn’t doing you any favours. Setting your alarm later allows you to extend your REM sleep, which is a far better quality of sleep than what you catch in between those 9-minute intervals. If more sleep is what you crave, you’re doing yourself a much greater service by setting your alarm for a time when you’ll actually get out of bed, instead of hitting the snooze 4 times.
KILL THE LIGHTS
You may be sabotaging your ability to fall asleep without even realizing it! Any light shining in your bedroom (especially blue light) is sending signals to your brain that you should be awake - even if your eyes are closed. This also includes any light emitted from clocks, phones, etc. Keep your TV/phone/computer off and away from your bed while trying to fall asleep, and face your clock away from you.
GET OUT OF BED IF YOU CAN’T SLEEP
If sleep seems like it’s extremely far off, getting out of bed may prove more helpful than laying awake. Get up and walk around a bit - maybe go to the bathroom or grab a glass of water. This may help to reset your body’s conditioning, reaffirming that it is indeed time to go to sleep once you climb back into bed.
USE MILD SLEEP AIDS
Obviously you shouldn’t begin a sleep-aid medication regimen without speaking to your doctor, but there are also many natural, non-habit forming options. Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by your body that makes you fall asleep. Melatonin tablets are available in pharmacies without a prescription, and also comes in other forms such as sprays. Melatonin tablets or sprays will increase the production of this hormone that is already occurring in your body, helping you to fall into a proper REM sleep.
CLEAR YOUR MIND
There’s nothing worse than not being able to fall asleep because your brain keeps churning away, thinking about everything that happened that day, what will happen tomorrow, what groceries you need to pick up, etc. Keeping a notepad by your bed will prove helpful for getting those pesky nagging thoughts out of your head and down on paper. Another good idea is to face your clock away from you, which prevents the classic train of thought: “I would get exactly 4 hours and 37 minutes of sleep if I fall asleep right now!”. Not helpful.
KEEP YOUR PHONE OFF
We know that almost everyone sleeps with their phone next to their pillow, but in reality this is by no means conducive to falling asleep. If you use your phone as your alarm clock and therefore need it to be close to you, become friends with the “do not disturb” or silent setting. This way you won’t be woken up by each and every last Instagram notification that rolls in around 2 am.
DON’T WATCH TV BEFORE BED
Watching TV is extremely stimulating for your brain. Bombarding yourself with sights, sounds, and fascinating plot lines is a very counterproductive way to relax your senses and soothe yourself into a REM cycle. If you simply must engage in some sort of wind-down activity before bed, reading is a far better way to fall asleep.
DON’T USE YOUR BED FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN SLEEP OR SEX
When you use your bed strictly for sleeping or sex, you will condition your brain to realize it’s bed time as soon as you hit the sheets. When you start to use your bed as a hangout/work/TV watching spot, your brain disassociates your bed with actual sleep, making it harder for your body to realize it’s bedtime.
Maintaining a proper sleep routine will do wonders for your overall health, but you’ll also be amazed at the affect it has on your appearance. Reduced puffiness, dark circles, and much clearer skin are all benefits from paying more attention to the Z’s you’re catching.
Want to ensure you wake up with the freshest looking skin possible? The best time to apply anti-aging products is right before you go to sleep, since that’s when your skin gets a chance to regenerate. Here are a few incredible anti-aging products you’re going to want to get your hands on.
What helps you fall asleep? Let us know in the comments!
Header Image: Reveal.Co.UK