Everyone would tell you they could use a couple more hours (or just five more minutes!) of sleep. Most of us are living with a decade or more of sleep debt, and the few hours we do get a night are interrupted by noise pollution, blue light, your partner tossing and turning, and stressful thoughts. So how can we actually get a good night’s sleep and wake up rested? Here’s 6 tips.
Take A Shower At Night
Showering (or taking baths) at night is a great way to unwind, ease sore muscles, and decompress after a long day. Incorporating soothing botanicals like lavender and chamomile (like scrubbing up with This Works Deep Sleep Shower Gel) amp up the relaxation.
Wash Your Sheets
Or at least your pillowcases. Ideally you should change your sheets once a week (I know, the thought of wrestling with a fitted sheet once a week is enough to make me want a nap). If you can’t manage switching your whole bedding weekly, at least wash your pillowcases. Your skin will thank you! And also consider switching to organic silk or 100% bamboo pillow cases which stay cool all night and are fantastic for keeping your hair smooth and preventing wrinkles! For added relaxation, spritz on a calming pillow spray like the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray.
Get a Bigger Mattress
I know this sounds crazy – if your partner is taking up too much space, don’t panic. Don’t break up. Head to IKEA or order a bigger mattress delivered straight to your door from Casper. Plus, getting a new mattress is a great excuse to buy new bedding, and to snag some of those Swedish meatballs from the food court.
A cool, dark, well-ventilated room is deal for sleeping. One trick for keeping your skin hydrated and your sinuses and throat comfortable is to place a small humidifier on your bedside table. (Check out this cute cactus one!) Load that puppy up with cool water and essential oil (I like eucalyptus personally) and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed, no matter how dry your apartment is!
The bed is for sleeping, not working
It can be tempting to turn your bed into your couch, your home office, and your kitchen table, but this isn’t a great idea (for more reasons than crumbs in the bed). Using your bed for activities other than sleep programs your brain to think that bed is not a place for rest. It’s fine to unwind on your bed with a book before sleep, but try not to make a practice of hanging out there!
Blue light is the enemy of sleep.
Blue light (the light from phones, tablets and computers) tells your brain that it’s still daytime, and stops the flow of the sleepy-time chemical melatonin in your brain. I know that telling you to nix all screens two hours before bed isn’t gonna happen – it’s just not realistic. Instead, try downloading a blue light filter app like f.lux or redshift or enabling Night Shift on your iOS device. These apps gradually shift the display light on your device to a red tone, which does not prevent your brain from producing melatonin. So Netflix binge away!