You would not be the only one if you were to say that your sleep pattern has drastically changed lately. Staying up later, sleeping in longer, less activity, more screen time, different food choices are all leading us to have different sleep schedules. You may even find that although you are sleeping enough hours, the quality of your sleep has greatly changed. You may not feel as rested or recharged as you think you should feel.
Sleep affects everything we do. It can affect the quality of our work, the quality of our workout, our body composition, our stress levels, our hormones, and the list goes on and on. Sleep is such an important, and yet undervalued, marker of our health. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to back control of your sleep pattern.
Eat whole foods. This may seem like a simple and redundant component but that doesn’t make it any less important. Staying away from sugars and junk will even out your blood sugar throughout the day allowing yourself to fall asleep more quickly when it is time to do so.
Get plenty of activity. If you are sitting around all day without ever getting activity in, you may not have expended enough energy to be physically tired at the end of your day. This can lead to that feeling where your brain is exhausted and you want to fall asleep but your body is wide awake. Avoid that feeling and get moving!
Those first two are basic elements that should be done for your health, regardless of talking about sleep. The next components are a bit more specific.
Limit screen time. Or also consider getting blue light blocker glasses. It has been proven that screens can keep you awake longer. If that is you, then put your screen down when it’s time for bed. Pick up a book instead. I’m not usually affected by this; however, occasionally it will hit me. If I notice that the time is past when I should be asleep, I will put my screen down and I fall asleep within a few minutes.
Wash your face earlier. For most of us, we wash our faces right before we get in bed. This can wake you up again and make you less tired. Simple? But worth a try.
Get out of bed right away. Instead of lounging in bed, get up. As soon as you wake up or that alarm goes off, get your day started. This will increase your productivity which will make you more ready for bed at the end of the day.
There are countless other ways to work on better quality sleep, let us know your favorites and what has worked for you!