Now more than ever, we are learning just how crucial getting enough quality sleep is to our well-being, yet it always seems to be the first thing to go. Beyond eating well and exercising regularly, getting enough sleep is the most important thing that you can do for your health.
Lack of sleep has been tied to both short and long-term health issues and illnesses and playing "catch-up" every once in awhile doesn't cut it. Even without understanding exactly what's happening when we sleep, we do know that whatever does happen is crucial to our wellness.
Our bodies take that time to do innate healing on all systems; a revitalization of our immune and cardiovascular systems being two of the more crucial outcomes.
With never enough time in the day, we know just how hard it can be to change bedtime routines and habits, so we have pulled together our 5 favorite easy tips for tucking in.
1. Make your bedroom dark and cold. The ideal sleeping temperature is somewhere between 60-65 degrees. If that seems unbearable at first, slip on a pair of cozy socks.
2. Avoid Caffeine from 2pm onwards or eliminate it altogether if you are having chronic issues falling asleep at night.
3. 10pm screen shut-off. Turn off or stop using all electronics and screens at 10pm.
4. Take 5 min breaks throughout the day. Not surprisingly, your ability to shut down at night has a lot to do with how your day has gone. If at all possible, find a way to take a break and get outside.
If you're stuck inside or at a desk, try to add one or two 5 minute breaks to your day. Refocus by being mindful of your breathing. Inhale fully through your nose while counting to five and then exhale through your mouth while counting to 5 slowly. Repeat.
5. Create a simple bedtime routine. Like all other behavior changes, creating and keeping a good sleep routine takes practice and repetition. Meditation and yoga are great ways to wind-down and we find this quick yoga sequence just as perfect for bedtime as midday.
Looking for additional inspiration? Watch these TED talk videos.