Despite being a nightly activity, consistently sleeping well can be a real challenge. Stress, late-night leisure activities, and general bad habits can all add up to restless nights and lethargic days.
Whether your sleep struggles developed recently or have been there your whole life, it’s not too late to turn things around! Here are some ways to get started.
1. You Snooze You Lose
Hitting the snooze button as soon as it goes off may feel like a natural response, but it's inherently counterproductive. When that alarm goes off your body is near the end of its REM cycle (the rejuvenation period of sleep). Getting up at the end of the cycle will give you more energy for the day. But hitting snooze plunges you back into REM forcing your mind to quickly shift from sleep to consciousness. This sudden transition leaves you feeling groggy for the rest of the day. Resist temptation to snooze by moving your alarm clock across the room forcing you to get up to turn it off.
2. Blue-Light Blues
Melatonin is a crucial part of proper sleep, but devices like your phone, laptop, or TV all emit blue light—which actively suppresses the hormone. The longer into the night your eyes are on the screen, the worse your quality of sleep. Experts say to turn the brightness down all the way when using it at night and turn the device off at least one hour before you want to go to sleep.
3. Schedule for Success
As much as we all love sleeping in on our days off it actually causes disruptions in our sleep cycle that can take several days to fix. The healthiest sleep routine means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (yes, even your days off). But it pays off by providing sharper focus, reduced insomnia, elevated positivity, improved immune functions, and better memory. Sleeping in is a lot less tempting when you think about giving all of that up.
Can you make your dreams come true? Breaking bad habits won't happen overnight, so don't give up if you're still struggling after a couple of days. Changing your body's sleep cycle can take more than a week to start creating benefits. So make 2021 your year! Commit to trying these suggestions for 1 month and see how you feel after. Better sleep is within your reach!