When talking about self-care, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Probably something like a face-mask or painting your nails. Does sleep come to mind? Probably not.
We often neglect sleep, even though it is the number one self-care habit there is. Think about it: when you don’t sleep enough, your day is just crappy, you’re in a terrible mood and feel super unproductive. Sleep affects your whole life.
Today I thought it would be a great idea to create a post all about sleep. Since most of us are home right now, it’s a great time for you to work on improving your sleep, which will end up improving all other areas in your life.
Let’s start with the basics: how much sleep do we actually need?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should sleep 7 to 9 hours every night. Your ideal sleeping time will depend on your own body. How do you figure out where you lay between those 7 to 9 hours? Continue reading to find out.
Forget your alarm, wake up naturally
To find out the ideal amount of hours you should sleep every night, go for a few days without your alarm. Record the approximate times when you fell asleep as well as the time you woke up. Do this for a few days and you’ll be able to find out exactly how many hours of sleep you need in order to be a functional human being. For a more accurate result, try to go to sleep at the same time every day.
Making your bedroom an ideal place to sleep
Your environment has a huge impact on your sleep. I’m sure you’ve noticed that when your room is too hot or too cold, you have more difficulty sleeping. Temperature is just one of the factors that can impact your sleep quality.
There are a few things you can do in order to create a perfect environment for your sleep. Let’s start by talking about light.
Lights have a huge impact in your sleep. Bright light suppresses melatonin, the sleep hormone. What that means is that, if you have a bright light hitting your face, your brain thinks it’s still daytime, so it slows down the production of melatonin.
To combat that, there are a few things you can do. I’m sure you’ve heard about blue light glasses. These are good if you’re someone who tends to watch TV or be on your phone right before bed.
If you don’t have a pair of these glasses, you can always turn on night mode on your phone (or reading mode, depending on your phone/tablet) and also turn the brightness all the way off. In an ideal world, you shouldn’t be using tech devices before going to bed, but I think by now using our phones before bed has become a habit that is very hard to break.
Dressing for sleep
The way you dress to sleep actually has a much bigger impact on your sleep quality that you might think. You should aim to be as comfortable as possible. Choose clothes that are not too tight nor too loose on your body. Also, aim for fabrics that you know won’t make you itchy or anything of that sort. I personally prefer cotton pajamas.
Other things you can do to get a better night’s sleep
There are two things I often do that really help me have a better sleep. The first is to take a shower before bed. When we shower, our body temperature rises and ultimately decreases once we get out of the shower. This difference in temperature warns our brain that it’s time to sleep.
Another thing I do, especially when I’m having difficulty falling asleep, is to drink warm milk. I’m sure you’ve had someone telling you this trick at some point in your life. I don’t really know why it works. I just know it does.
Let me know if you have any additional tips in the comments below.