Do you constantly stay up late doing something “more important” or “more interesting” than sleeping? We feel you!
But it doesn’t take long to burn out. And what’s worse, it shows on our skin.
Poor sleep doesn’t just leave you with dark circles (which are bad enough). It can increase stress and interfere with your immune system, contributing to breakouts!
Enough is enough. Let’s prioritize our skin, our health, and our sleep cycle!
#1: Get Some Sun
Our bodies naturally set our sleep cycles by the sun. They use light exposure to gauge when to feel awake and when to wind down for the night.
To help regulate your sleep cycle, get some natural light during your active hours. Eat lunch outside, take a walk around the block, or read a book on the porch.
#2: Just Say No (To Blue Light)
Bright light can energize you during the day. But bright light in the evening throws your cycles out of whack! Your body thinks it’s still daytime, and you shouldn’t be sleepy yet.
The worst is blue light from screens on televisions, tablets, and smartphones. It suppresses melatonin, a chemical meant to help us relax.
Experts recommend avoiding screen time for an hour or two before bed.
#3: Skip the Caffeine
We love coffee, but caffeine is a stimulant, so it makes you hyper when you’re trying to unwind.
Try to stop consuming caffeine six hours before you go to sleep. For most of us, that’s mid-afternoon at the latest.
#4: Skip the Nightcap, Too
Sorry, but alcohol is also a bad idea.
Alcohol can worsen snoring and sleep apnea, and interfere with oxygen intake during sleep. And when your breathing or oxygen flow is disrupted, your rest suffers.
#5: Just Skip Drinks Altogether
Ever wake up at 3am, desperate for the bathroom? This is known as nocturia, and can thoroughly disrupt your sleep.
Constant nighttime pee breaks can even lead to sleep deprivation, causing fatigue, depression, and immune problems.
If you’re struggling with nocturia, stop drinking liquids an hour or two before bed. Of course, it’s also crucial to maintain hydration, so be extra vigilant about water intake throughout the day!
#6: Bench Press for Success
Exercise, the hobby with a million benefits. Even insomnia cannot stand against its power! Yep, exercise can ease insomnia and improve sleep quality.
But don’t fill your exercise quota right before bedtime. Exercise makes you more alert by releasing compounds like adrenaline.
Instead, jog or hit the gym earlier in the day, when you probably need an energy boost!
#7: Reconsider Naptime
Napping can actually cause sleepiness during the day. Instead of falling into deep sleep, your body adjusts to brief periods of light sleep, which are not as revitalizing in the long-term.
The benefits of napping also depend on the length of the nap. A nap shorter than 30 minutes can improve your focus. But regularly taking longer naps can be bad for your health.
#8: Keep a Sleep Schedule
Having a steady sleep schedule will improve the long-term quality of your rest. Sounds easy, right?
But if you want to fall asleep at 11pm every night, you need to acclimate your body by ACTUALLY going to bed at 11pm every night. #willpower
#9: Try a Little Mindfulness
Clear away distractions and calm your mind with a few minutes of quiet focus. Relaxation techniques can significantly improve the quality of your sleep!
- Do some breathing exercises
- Listen to calming music
- Follow a meditation or visualization
- Devote time to spiritual practices
- Read a book
#10: Wash the Day Away
A warm shower or bath before bed can improve sleep and help you fall asleep faster. You can even use this peaceful opportunity to practice your mindfulness and self-care!
Afterwards, you’ll be so relaxed and ready for bed!
#11: Perfect Your Sanctuary
Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, dedicated to rest and rejuvenation! Evaluate your sleep environment.
- Noise: Noise can keep you awake and increase stress while you sleep! Consider white noise apps to wash out disturbances.
- Temperature: Too much heat can make your sleep restless and inefficient. Turn on a fan or reduce your thermostat. 70 degrees Fahrenheit is a happy average!
- Light: Don’t forget ambient light, like from street lamps or electronics chargers. Consider curtains, and cover or unplug unnecessary lights in your room.
#12: Step Up Your Mattress Game
Sit on a hard chair for 20 minutes, and suddenly your butt’s numb. Imagine the effect of a mattress after you’ve been lying on it for hours!
Bedding can directly impact your rest, even inflicting sore joints, stiffness, and back pain.
Taste in mattresses can vary widely, so consult your doctor or physical therapist for a professional opinion.
#13: Supplement Your Sleep
If you’re still struggling, then supplements may be worth a try.
Melatonin is popular for regulating sleep, and magnesium fights sleep disturbances associated with aging.
#14: Unwind With a Routine
Establish a night routine. By repeating the same steps every night, your body can recognize bedtime and relax accordingly.