You bring up the topic of health, and the first thing mentioned is diet. But what about sleep? With the coronavirus putting everyone on edge and many currently quarantined in their homes, normal schedules such as workflow and family life are disrupted. For some, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Pressure swells, creating tension, which keeps them up for hours brainstorming on the answers. Then there are others with so much time on their hands that nap time creeps in during the daylight, preventing shut-eye at night.
The one late-night wonder turns into two, and all of a sudden, you can’t shake the bad habit, no matter how hard you try. This unhealthy practice of not getting a good night’s sleep can lead to further fatigue, misery, depression and anxiety, weight gain, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure. Who needs the added stress?
Prevention is better than cure, so in this week of Flair’s Inside Out, let’s dive right into a few ways you can regain control and take back your night for rest.
Set a sleep (and daily) schedule and stick to it.
It is definitely easier said than done. But maybe if you work out a specific time to sleep at nights and wake up at the same time in the mornings, the structure can flow over into your daily schedule, setting up a cycle of normalcy.
Engage in a half-hour workout regime at least three times per week in the morning or afternoon. Night-time exercise revives you and keeps you up later than you need to be. Getting your fitness in early gives you the endorphins and energy you need during your hectic days, as well as rest and relaxation at nights.
There are theories that taking warm showers or baths can relax the muscles, encouraging you to sleep. But with these hot nights, adding a cold shower to your nightly routine might cool things down so that you will eventually fade soundly to sleep.
Slumber in luxury
A great night’s sleep is guaranteed if the slumber environment is designed with tranquility in mind. Ensure that the room isn’t too hot, too cold, too bright, or too dark. Find a mode that is ideal for you, and get comfortable. Speaking of comfort, account for idyllic settings in the beds and pillows, too.
Bedroom activities only
Limit your bedroom to two Ss – one of which is sleep. If you are guilty of doing other activities there, such as working, checking emails and messages, watching television, doing reading of any kind (sometimes this relaxes), or eating, put a cease and desist order on them immediately. Things like reading and tending to work or messages keep the brain stimulated, making it difficult to wind down.
Avoid big meals and sweets
Avoid consuming heavy meals or sweets like chocolate too close to your designated bedtime. They will have you tossing and turning instead of snoozing.
Take a time-out
Turn down or off all sounds relating to alerts from emails, messages, and social media on your phone before you head to your room. That way, nothing can disturb you from your peace of mind. If you’re one to watch the clock, turn it away from you so that you’re unable to see the time that has passed. Instead, zen in your silence and think positive thoughts before dozing off.
Sounds too adolescent? If you’re having issues, air out your concerns via a parental journal so that you’re not taking unnecessary matters to bed. You can address them at a later time, say, in the daytime?
Natural sleeping aids
Whatever puts you into relaxation mode – reading, writing, music, or recreational activities of a sultry nature – explore those options and see where the night takes you.