Five Ways You Can Give Yourself the Sleep You Need and Deserve
Guest blog by: Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com
Sleep is vital to our well-being, both physically and emotionally, and our mental health can suffer without it. It may be tempting to reach for the sleeping pills, but your nights can become restful through natural methods. Here's where to focus to freshen your mornings and your wellness.
Disengage at Night
While technology is integral to our days, it isn’t good to expose yourself to blue light at night. This particular light stops our bodies from producing melatonin, which is crucial for sleep. Unfortunately, it is not only the screens that create problems, as it may also be the content we expose ourselves to. While you may want to catch up with social media after a long day, that habit can cause stress or leave you preoccupied. So, make it a new habit to not only protect your mental health by avoiding tech at night but your circadian rhythm as well.
A messy home can undermine mental health, and that alone can be an obstacle. By reordering your house, focusing extra effort on your bedroom, and keeping everything tidy, you can also remove the stress that comes with worrying about losing things in messy piles. Do you have bundles of papers filling up your work desk or detritus covering your bedroom floor? Ask yourself if they add value to your home, and get rid of the things that don't by switching to digital documents or donating stuff that has no use to you. After all, work doesn’t belong where we sleep, and a tidy office space outside the bedroom can help us unwind after the workday. What makes the cut will be more manageable to organize and easier to access. The effort can reward you with a more peaceful environment to aid relaxation before bed.
Decorate the Bedroom
How your bedroom looks can play a significant part in either relaxing you at night or leaving you tense and restless. If your bedroom isn't calming, change it with soothing hues and uplifting décor that reflects your character without creating clutter or noise. Your choices will be unique to you, but avoid intense colors in favor of light blues or earthy tones to cultivate a peaceful ambiance. Whatever scheme you opt for, complement it with blackout curtains to block light from breaking you out of slumber. These are made of thick materials, which gives them the added benefit of being noise reducers and being just as effective in the day. A bedroom sanctuary is only one step to better rest, but it is a step forward.
Focus on Health
Don’t overlook the importance of what you eat and how you stay active in improving sleep. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine is a priority for rest, but even milk and cereal can adversely impact us. Instead of reaching for comfort food late at night, go for something that is nutritious and encourages slumber. To complement this lifestyle and strengthen sleep patterns, you should also pursue moderate, regular exercise. However, patience is a must as it can take a few weeks to become effective. Build up slowly, and find a routine that works for you.
Nurture Nightly Rituals
Having a nightly ritual imbues predictability, and that can help challenge stressors and put you in a comfortable state. It could be anything you find calming, but nighttime can be an opportunity to explore mindfulness and breathing exercises.
These practices can manage stress whenever it spikes or needs to be challenged. Of course, your nights may still be filled with thoughts of work or conflict, so consider journaling. After all, we go to sleep not only to rest but to start a new day, and nightly writing can be a symbolic way to let go of lingering thoughts or anxieties.
Sleep is inextricable to good health, both physical and emotional. It impacts our mental wellness, and when we lose it, we feel it acutely. While it can be difficult to commit to healthy changes, they will be worth it in the long run, as rest is priceless.
Have a thought or a tip about sleep?
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