Kind of eye opening, isn’t it?! Knowing that gives me a whole other set of reasons for going to bed sooner.
But getting to bed on time and falling asleep on time are two completely different animals. That being said, here are some tips that have been known to help others fall to sleep faster and sleep more soundly throughout the night. Maybe some of them will help you if you choose to try a new sleep routine.
20 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
- Turn the lights down low at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Melatonin, a hormone in your body that helps make you sleepy, becomes suppressed when faced with lots of artificial light. The more light from the TV, electronic devices, or overhead lighting your body is faced with right before bedtime, the less likely your body will produce the amount of melatonin your body needs to feel sleepy.
- Turn off all electrically devices at least 30 minutes prior to going to bed. Yes, TVs can lull you to sleep but they do not produce a sound sleep, which is the kind your body needs to produce the right amounts of leptin and ghrelin.
- Remove all electronics from the bedroom. Checking your email at night, does not help you sleep better.
- Remove all reminders of “work” from the bedroom. When you are trying to go to sleep, work is the last thing you should be thinking about.
- Set a regular bedtime.
- Wake up the same time every day. If you need to make up lost sleep, do so with a short nap instead of sleeping in which messes up your sleep pattern.
- Limit naps to 30 minutes or less. Longer can create insomnia.
- Make your bedroom dark for sleeping. The darker, the better.
- Make your bedroom comfortable…a comfortable mattress, comfortable bedding, and a comfortable temperature (for most this is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Eat your heavy meal at lunch and avoid rich foods at least 2 hours before going to bed.
- Avoid drinking fluids after 8 p.m., if possible. This will keep you from having to get up to use the restroom in the middle of the night.
- Reserve your bed for only things the bed was intended for…this does NOT include snacking, doing work, etc.
- Take a warm bath prior to hopping in bed.
- Listen to soft music as you get ready for bed.
- Do some yoga or simple stretching exercises.
- Leave a notepad and pencil on your nightstand. If you think of something you need to do the next day, quickly write it down on the notepad and then forget it. If you don’t write it down, you are more likely to stew over it all night.
- Cut down on the caffeine and avoid caffeine consumption after lunch.
- Make relaxation your goal, not sleep. Try some breathing exercises or muscle relaxing exercises when you lie down to help prepare your body for sleep.
- Include physical exercise in your daily routine, but try to do so before supper so that your body can start to wind down.
- Create a bedtime ritual. Whether it’s any of the above tips or others, make it consistent. Your body picks up on patterns.
Want to read more about the benefits of sleep? Sleep, It Does a Family Good: How Busy FamiliesCan Overcome Sleep Deprivation by Archibald D. Hart has totally changed the way I look at sleep and I highly recommend it for all families. My hubby read it after I did and even shared it with some friends and co-workers–it impacted him that much. So, definitely check it out.
Straggling to Strong Challenge Update
Week 2’s Goals
This week I must admit I did not succeed on goals 3, 4 and 5 all the time but we are getting more consistent. It takes an average of 66 days to build a habit, right? So it’s a process. We are getting closer.
Pounds lost this week: 2 lbs.
Total Pounds lost: 4 lbs.
Monday: Snacking on what the kids don’t eat for supper is not going to save children in Africa; it’s just going to make you fatter.
Tuesday: Packing snacks or a lunch for a long day away from home saves you lots of calories. Also, don’t forget to bring plenty of water; it does wonders to curb hunger.
Wednesday: Segments of 10 minutes of exercise spread throughout the day is better than none at all.
Thursday: You are better off with a crock pot recipe on a busy day than a drive thru.
Friday: You can still enjoy good food, even when trying to curb the calories. Just budget for it.
Saturday: Family is more important than food.
Sunday: It’s hard to resist what everyone else around you is eating.
This Week’s Goals
- Complete Week 9 C25K program
- Complete 7 Weeks to Fitness Prep Week 3.
- Get up consistently by 5:30 a.m. so I have plenty of time to complete my morning routine before the girls wake up
- Start my bedtime routine at 9 p.m. so that my lights are out by 9:30 p.m.
- Complete my 5K race.
Did any of you create some S.M.A.R.T. goals last week? How did it go? What’s your plan of action to make ’em happen?
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