Sleep Better, Feel Better
The average person sleeps in 90 minute cycles and needs 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Set a sleep schedule for yourself – with timers set to wake you up and tell you when to go to bed. Planning your sleep around the 90 minute REM cycles, leaving 10-20 minutes to fall asleep in the beginning, will help make sure that you aren’t waking up in the middle of a cycle – which is when your body is the most tired. If you plan it right, your alarm should be going off at the same time that your body is in the lightest stage of sleep – meaning you will wake up in a much better mood and feeling more energized than if you wake up in the middle of a deep sleep.
Sunrise alarm clocks can be found on Amazon and work wonders for people who have difficulty waking up – especially people who are waking up before the sun rises. These kinds of alarm clocks begin to glow with a natural light anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes before you wake up and the light gets brighter as you move closer to the time your alarm will go off. Sometimes, the light from these alarm clocks will even rouse you from your sleep, if you are in the lighter stages of sleep, just before your alarm even goes off – saving you from needing to use that nasty alarm clock tone that jolts you awake.
Falling into an evening routine is one thing that I stand by wholeheartedly. A big part of this routine is putting your phone away. Keep your phone, and any other bright light – your computer screen, for example – out of your face for the hour prior to bed if at all possible. Get into a routine of meditating, reading, brushing your teeth or whatever else you need to do in order to relax just before bed. This way, your body will naturally begin to wind down because it will know you are getting ready to sleep. You will drift into sleep much faster if you can get your body to relax before you lay down than if you lay down with your eyes peeled wide open as they stare at the bright light from your phone. Plus, your significant other will probably appreciate the one-on-one time and undivided attention just before bed.
A National Sleep Foundation survey proves, “People who sleep better report exercising more, and people who exercise tend to sleep better,” (Source). If you needed another reason to get to the gym this week.. here you go! It’s going to help your overall sleep quality rise. Even light exercise will make a massive difference in your sleep quality.
Caffeine has a half-life of eight hours. What this means is that when you drink coffee at 2pm, it is still in your system until 10pm. Do yourself a favor and put the coffee down before 2pm rolls around. That way you will be able to stick to your sleep schedule and won’t be exhausted the next morning because you couldn’t fall asleep at night.
Does your bedroom window face a noisy street? Consider getting a small fan to run throughout the night. It may take a few nights to get use to, but once you adjust to the fan it will act like white noise in blocking out sound while you fall asleep.