Have you ever thought about all of the effects your sleep patterns have on your mind and body? I don’t know about you, but when I am tired I often have no energy, a headache, and am crazy grouchy. This is not good for me or anyone around me. Therefore, as part of my healthier lifestyle this year, I have made a conscious effort to get better sleep. Fortunately, a recent trip with P&G taught me a few healthy steps to getting the sleep I need just in time for National Sleep Awareness Week.
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Healthy Steps to Get Sleep
Think about it. How do you feel after a good night’s sleep? Sleep helps to restore both our body and mind. Benefits of sleep can include lower stress, improved mood, healthy weight, better choices, more energy, and greater ability to focus. Our body needs rest. We can help to ensure it is getting proper sleep by simply taking a few healthy steps:
- Exercise regularly. All of the extra energy used to workout during the day can increase your drive to sleep. Also, it helps to further decrease stress and anxiety. I don’t know about you, but I know that I could use a decrease in both of those areas regularly.
- Establish consistent sleep. Set an alarm each morning to wake up around the same time to start your day. Make it a point to go to bed nightly at a regular bedtime. This regularity can mean better sleep quality and more sleep time. Both are conducive to getting the rest your body needs.
- Wind down and avoid electronics. I know. This is a hard one for me too. But the activity can be mentally stimulating and keeping us awake. Not to mention, the glow from our phone, tablet, TV, laptop, or e-reader is physically alerting and does not help our mind shut down.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Just as you may have had as a child or may establish for your children now. Whether it’s a hot bath, reading, soothing music, or meditating, find a way to unwind before climbing into bed. Your bed will begin to understand the cues and sleep will come easier.
Sleep is a basic human need for each one of us. We may all differ in the amount of sleep we need, but it is still essential to our body’s needs.
Use Your Senses
Statistically, one-third of our loves will be spent in the bedroom. By utilizing all 5 senses in the bedroom, we can create the perfect environment for a great night sleep. Stop and look around your bedroom. What is the temperature of the room? What do you see? Smell? Hear? Taste? All of these things play into the sleep we get each night.
- experiment with keeping your room cool and find what makes you most comfortable
- your mattress should be comfortable and supportive so that you wake up feeling rested
- pillows should support your head and neck, allowing them to stay in a neutral position
- dress in light breathable cotton pajamas
- consider low-wattage, incandescent lamps at your bedside to help you wind down
- make the room completely dark while you sleep if possible by blocking all light sources
- use darkening curtains or shades to keep your body in sleep mode until it’s time to wake up
- keep electronics out of the bedroom and turn them off if necessary
- de-clutter your room and create a clean and relatively ordered space
- choose wall colors that elicit warmth and calm and pick soothing blankets, artwork, etc.
- surround yourself with the scents you like (try the Febreze Sleep Serenity line)
- keep your room clean and use laundry detergents and other scented product, such as P&G’s Sweet Dreams Collection (pictured below)
- try to wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week
- keep your sleep surfaces clean, with a pleasing scent, for a more inviting bedroom and peaceful sleep
- creating a constant ambient sound using a fan, air purifier, or white noise machine
- keep the television out of your bedroom and turn it off before you start your bedtime routine
- consider an alarm that is loud and distinct enough to arouse you, but doesn’t shock you awake
- eat lightly before bed (if at all) and avoid alcohol or stimulants like caffeine
- avoid foods that may upset your stomach, such as fatty, fried, or spicy foods
Find more great tips and ideas for creating a better bedroom environment from the National Sleep Foundation.
How much sleep do you need each night?
Are you getting the proper rest?
P&G is asking you to take the “Tuck In. Turn Off.” Pledge. The pledge asks us to unplug a little earlier at night, to unplug and unwind, and get a full 8 hours of sleep each night. The reward? Better rest. Healthier mind and body. Less Stress. All those great benefits we discussed above. So why not give it a try? You can do it!