Sleep…we all know it’s important and yet often it is lacking. Whether you’re not getting enough sleep or feel like your quality of sleep subpar, check out these 5 tips for creating healthy sleep habits that will help improve your sleep naturally.
How much sleep should I get per night?
Per the Sleep Foundation, adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. And that’s a range because there are some factors to consider – like do you wake up tired, do you rely on caffeine throughout your day, do you hit that afternoon wall? Getting 7 hours of sleep but still feeling tired throughout your day and lacking focus to be productive would suggest you either need more sleep or you need better quality of sleep. So…7-9 hours a night, we start there.
Why do we need so much sleep?
If you’re one of those people who thinks they do better with less sleep, sure maybe for like a night or two or in the short-term it appears to be working ok – like you get a bit of a high from it. But really, getting less than those recommended 7-9 hours of sleep is really taking its toll on your body. This post from Popular Science discusses two main reasons your body needs sleep, summarized below.
Overnight, while we sleep our bodies restore and replenish – this necessary downtime is like a reset button for our bodies. On a cellular level, your body is resetting, repairing, and nourishing itself. And without this, over time your body will begin to break down from lack of sleep.
Another notable reason to get more/better sleep is that it helps with memory function. You go about your day, taking in all sorts of information and without sleep your memory has trouble retaining it all. Overnight, while you sleep, your body is taking all the inputs from the day and transferring them from short-term to long-term memory.
Ok, so we need sleep. How do you create healthy sleep habits?
If you want to get better and/or more sleep, we have 5 tips for you to help establish healthy sleep habits.
- Make sleep a priority – this is really the first step! It sounds easy, but you have to make sleep important and prioritize it. This will mean that you have to say “No” sometimes and have to put things off to the next day at times. But remember, doing so will help you to do whatever it is that you need to do better, with a fresh mind.
- Establish a nighttime routine and stick to it – by creating a nighttime ritual that you complete every night, you send your body cues that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Your routine doesn’t have to be elaborate or take a ton of time. Here’s a brief look at my own nighttime ritual: floss and brush my teeth, wash my face and apply moisturizer (sometimes a bonus add-on is to do some guasha), get in bed, read and get to sleep when I start to feel tired.
- Get up at about the same time every day (even weekends) – this is really an extension to establishing a routine. Getting up at about the same time every day makes it so your body is ready to go to bed at about the same time every night. Makes sense, right?
- Move your body – especially if you feel like you have a hard time settling down for sleep, add more movement to your day. Using your muscles helps to make them ready for rest, so by adding movement and exercise to your day you will not only help reduce stress, but also improve your sleep. Check out this post for how to add more movement to your day.
- Make your bedroom environment conducive for sleep – you want your bedroom to be a peaceful, respite from your day. A place where when you enter, you feel at ease. Here are some ways to help make your bedroom feel more restful for sleep:
- Diffusing essential oils at night – I really like lavender and eucalyptus, but there are lots of options that help promote restful sleep, check out this post with more ideas. You might have to try some different oils to see which your body likes best.
- Blackout curtains help to make your room dark enough for sleep.
- A weighted blanket helps settle and ground your body. They also help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. I’ve noticed a difference in how quickly I’m able to fall asleep using a weighted blanket.
- Using a daylight alarm clock helps to wake you up more naturally and start your day better. This has been a total game changer for Justin and me. We can’t express how much we love this alarm clock. It gently wakes you up with what feels like a sunrise in your room, followed by your choice of natural sounds rather than a blaring alarm noise.
- Charge your cell phone outside of your bedroom. We’ve removed our phones from our bedroom, and it’s just more relaxing feeling knowing it’s not within reach.
Some other posts you might enjoy
- Morning Routines: Daily Habits that Support Happiness and Productivity
- How to be More Active – Tips for Adding More Movement to Your Day
- 5 Practical Lifestyle Tips For Detoxing
- How to Make New Friends as an Adult
- How to be More Productive at Work (and in Life) – 5 Tips
Now go get some sleep!
Leave a comment below, and let us know if these tips are helpful! We’d love to hear about your sleep experiences or any tips you have. Also, if you love this post make sure you share it – you can share about it on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Tag us @realsimplegood on Instagram and use #TheRSGLife. Make sure to give us a follow as well if you don’t already – let’s stay connected!
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