Tired of being tired? You made your way through the newborn years, the toddler years, and then finally the teenage years of your kids limiting your sleep. If you’re like me, you thought once they are out of the house, I will sleep as much as I want!
Then changing hormones and bad habits kept me from sleeping great. If I could get to sleep, I usually woke up a few times either to pee or overthink my problems. I’d stare at the clock calculating how much sleep I’d get if I went to sleep now.
Sometimes sleep is the best first step in getting healthier! When you get good quality sleep, everything gets easier!
How many hours of sleep did you get last night? How rested did you feel this morning after sleeping that amount?
Importance of Sleep
Sleep is a critical element to your success in any endeavor. Your brain, your body, and your mind all need to rest and recharge each and every day. People tend to trivialize the need for sleep. Or they associate sleeping with being lazy and unproductive.
Sleep is anything but a trivial thing. Sleep is critical to your creativity, your health, and your success.
The average adult body needs between 6 and 8 hours of quality sleep every night. There are different requirements for children and seniors but let’s just stick with the average adult requirements for our purposes. If you’re awake part of the night, that means being in the bed longer than that 6-8 hours!
If you’ve already set up your daily bookends and created an evening routine, with this one key habit, you’re setting yourself up for success to get a good night’s sleep.
It’s true that heavy meals close to bedtime are not the best for quality sleep. Spicy foods are also known to interfere with sleep quality, so avoid spices and peppers close to bedtime. Drinking a lot of fluids before you head to bed can also interfere with sleep due to the need for multiple trips to the bathroom.
Turning off your electronic devices at least an hour before you head to bed will help your body wind down and help your pineal gland produce sufficient melatonin hormone necessary to induce sleep. Likewise, avoid vigorous exercise, alcohol, caffeine, or other stimulants for 4-6 hours before bedtime.
You might think alcohol is a good idea before bed since it can make you drowsy. However, sleep disruption later on in the night is common with alcohol consumption close to bedtime. It’s best not to make alcohol consumption a nightly routine or your sleep may be adversely affected.
You can read, journal, meditate, relax in a bath or go through your gratitude practice in the last hour before bedtime. When these steps are ritualized and become a habit, your body knows what to expect and can begin to prepare for sleep. This makes it easier to transition from the awake phase to the sleep phase and you’ll avoid that toss and turn type of transition that is so frustrating.
Think about your bedtime routine as a kid. What you did then could still work for you now! I don’t know about you but I wasn’t watching tv or scrolling right up until bedtime growing up!
Best Environment For Sleep
Make sure your bedroom is set up for successful sleeping. The room temperature should be set at a comfortable level for your personal preference. Ideal room temperature for sleep is a little cooler than you might like when you’re awake. Bedding, lighting, and any auditory input are factors that need to be considered as well. Earplugs or ‘white noise’ machines and eye masks may be wise additions to afford a restful night’s sleep.
Splurge for comfortable bedding and pillows. Think of these as performance gear for sleeping as well as an investment in your health and your success. The Better Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every 7-10 years. Consider your weight, your sleep partner’s weight, how often the mattress is rotated and how you take care of your mattress since these factors can affect the longevity of a mattress. Pillows should be replaced every couple of years.
The room should be darkened although consider a soft night-light to safely illuminate the path if you usually get up to visit the bathroom in the night. It’s a good idea to use room-darkening shades on your windows to prevent the morning sunlight from awakening you earlier than you intended.
When Quality Sleep Doesn’t Happen
In spite of lifestyle modifications and sleep-inducing bedtime routines, if you’re experiencing ongoing insomnia, interrupted sleep, nightmares or sleepwalking, consider checking with your physician. There could be medical conditions that interfere with sleep or side effects from medications that have been prescribed.
Good sleep habits and sufficient quality sleep is one of the fundamentals for setting yourself up for inevitable success with any goal you have in mind. You can read more here.
After years of losing sleep, I finally get consistent restful sleep. I slowly added good sleep habits one at a time to create a routine. I teach you how to do this in my Fueled For Fun Program. If you’d rather start adding habits on your own, then grab my free habit guide here.