Have you heard?
We spend 25-33% of our lives sleeping. Some people think it’s pathetic. I think it’s awesome. Finally! Rest from all the productivity, activities and people! It’s a time to do nothing, and allow our bodies to be rejuvenated and catch up with all we put it through.
If you’re going to spend 1/3 of your life sleeping, you ought to do it right. I’m skipping the small talk today. Here are my absolute favorite tips on getting high-quality rest, from a gal who has perfected the art of sleep.
- Don’t light up in the bedroom. This is at the top of the list for a reason. It’s uber important. Muy importante! Critical! NO ELECTRONICS in the bedroom before bed. (Actually, I have a hard rule that electronics don’t come into my room at all, ever.) Those bright lights piercing into your eyes right before bed eff’s with your brain waves, significantly reducing high-quality sleep. Take these actions: Turn off all electronics with screens at least 30 minutes before bed. No iPad, no laptop, no phone, no tv. I actually set my phone alarm before I walk in my room, turn the phone upside-down, and put it on my dresser where I cannot reach it from bed. Do not get up in the middle of the night and look at your phone!
- Soothe yourself before shut-eye. Because you’ll be shutting down screen-time right before bed, you’ll need something else to do. Get your body and mind prepared to rest. Doing something soothing helps me to fall asleep easily within 5 minutes of my head hitting the pillow. Take actions like these: Curl up on the couch with your softest blanket and a cup of chamomile and think about lovely things you are grateful for. Take a warm bath with salts and/or essential oils and a candle. Give yourself a mini hand or foot massage. Do some light stretching. Put on some meditation or calming music like beach waves.
- Cool it. We sleep better when the temperature is cooler. If we’re hot, we toss and turn and that interrupts good sleep. Do this: Crack the window a little bit. Turn on a fan. Turn the thermostat down 2-5 degrees from its normal temperature in the home.
- Strategize your last meal. Heavy meals, and overeating in general, requires a lot of digestion energy, and interferes with high-quality sleep as well. Try this: Eat your final meal of the day about 3-5 hours before sleeptime. I like to eat dinner about 5 hours before bed, and then have a little bitty snack about an hour before bed.
- Simplify. This is another one of my favorite tips of all-time, and I think it’s really effective and under-rated. CLEAN YOUR ROOM. My bedroom is always the cleanest room in my home. Actually, all my rooms are clean, but the bedroom is my priority. Every single day I keep it tidy. It’s easy to keep it impeccable because it is curated — meaning that every item in my room is intentionally placed there and serves a purpose. Junk –> out. Take these actions: Remove everything from under your bed. Do not store anything under there except maybe extra blankets. Clean out your drawers and closet — all clothes, bras, underwear, socks, etc — if you don’t love it, get rid of it. If it’s torn/ripped/stained/unloved, get it out right now. Ask yourself, “do I still even like this??” Vacuum and dust your furniture regularly. Minimize what’s on your dresser. Put all your clothes away, and do not throw things or store them on the floor.
- Invest in your bed. Put in the time and money to find a mattress that you love. My mom and I went mattress-shopping two years ago and it was literally exhausting, but nearly every single time I get into bed (which is about 800 times since then), I say to myself “I looove this mattress.” The quality of my sleep definitely increased once I got a great mattress. Same thing for pillows. I scored two Charter Club pillows during Macy’s home sale for $39/each that were originally $150 each! I’m dead serious when I say that I hardly ever move around when I sleep. Sometimes I wake up in the exact same position. No neck pain, either. Do this: If you don’t already have a mattress, pillows, blankets, headboard and/or bed that you love, make it a point to make the switches. Your bedroom should feel like a haven, and make you filled with gratitude because you love it so much.
- Embrace bedtime routine. Our bodies like predictability when it comes to resting. It helps to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. It also helps if you do some of the same pre-bedtime activities to prepare yourself for great sleep. Try this: Think about, or write down, what your routine looks like. What time, approximately, does it benefit you to hit the hay? What time does it feel good to wake up at? What can you do before bed to prepare yourself for sleep? (warm bath or shower, yoga, gratitude journaling, reading, etc.)