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Taking Pleasure Seriously

10 Essential Sleeping Tips for You to Try Tonight!

Nothing beats a good night’s sleep!

I’ve mentioned a bunch of times on this blog the importance of drinking water, healthy eating, and physical activity for health. But you can’t argue with the research that claims that if we don’t sleep enough hours at night or have low quality sleep, our body and soul won’t function in an ideal way.

Yes, even if we’d drink all the green juices in the world 😉

This may explain that while health trends are constantly changing, good sleep maintains its position as one of the most important things for our health.

Still, many of us are willing to give up on good sleep. And even when we finally find the time to sleep, it’s often not too satisfying or ideal…

I admit, my sleeping patterns in the last year have not really been a source of pride…

Because I work from home I allowed myself to work until the wee hours of the night, I didn’t give up on Netflix, and I often treated myself to endless hours of pinterest and instagram in bed, with my eyes glued to my iPhone.

This was my sleeping pattern for a very long time…and its influence was very impactful.

Last month I decided that I need to make a gradual change in order to improve the quality of my sleep. True, I am still no “sleep champion” and there is still a lot of room to improve, but I already feel a positive influence of the good habits that I succeeded in taking on.

I decided to write this post as a reminder for you, and as a personal reminder as well. I hope it will affect you and will encourage you to set aside a bit of time to do what you need in order to improve the quality of your life.

 

10 Essential Sleeping Tips for You to Try Tonight

 

1. Decide that sleep hours are non-negotiable

I know how it is…and no matter how much I work on this, I, too, am guilty of giving up sleep hours for the sake of some other activity. Never-ending errands, an exploding e-mail inbox, important work projects, family and friends…our lives are a never-ending race and we have a thousand and one things that we have to take care of on a daily basis. The problem is, that for an unknown reason, it is much easier for us to give up on sleep hours than it is for us to give up on other things, and the funny thing is, that in the long-run, the other things will also be negatively affected by the lack of sleep – a total lose-lose situation.

Try to manoeuvre between the excuses, this time – when you put your sleep hours at the top of your list and set aside 7-9 hours of sleep for yourself each night. You can even try to set a reminder at a set time that you decide to stop your daily-race and enter a mode of calm before sleep.

 

2. Set aside quality time for yourself during the day so that you won’t have to do so in the middle of the night

One of the worst habits I’ve had in the last while was to not set aside time for myself during the day, so at the end of the day, instead of going to bed and having a good night sleep, I felt the need to stay up till late so that I can watch another episode on Netflix.

It doesn’t matter if it’s work or caring for your children that you’re busy with, try to find time for yourself during the day. Even a good half-hour in the middle of the day can be helpful and help you avoid giving up precious sleep.

 

 

3. Prepare an organized schedule of tasks you must complete in a given day

Tasks.Tasks.Tasks.

Sometimes it seems as if it doesn’t matter how much we check off our to-do-list – it will never end. We have a limited number of hours in the day, and as much as we’d want, we’ll never be able to complete all the things we have to do. In order to avoid a situation in which you have to give up sleep hours in order to complete a task that is due the following day, set yourself a list of preferences in the beginning of the day, and learn to say “no” to tasks that are less pressing.

 

4. Gradually let go of the “screens” surrounding you

Computer, cell phone, Tablet, or TV…We are so used to having our eyes glued to a screen that we don’t even realize that they are always.fucking.there.

The lighting these screens produce depresses melatonin production, which is the hormone responsible for making us sleepy before bed. Aside from the issues relating to the lighting, everything that happens on the screens causes our brains to be way too stimulated before bed, instead of allowing it to relax.

Basically, you don’t have to be a genius to understand that screens make it very difficult for us to fall asleep.

I read many recommendations that suggest turning off all screens an hour and a half to three hours before bedtime, but let’s be realistic…there’s no way we’ll handle that unless we move to an entirely secluded shack in the forest without electricity…from my personal experience, you do not have to be extreme to sleep a bit better at night. Even if you decide to gradually shut off your screens, for example – while you are watching TV, putting your cell phone and Tablet on the side – that’s already a big improvement. But there is one thing that in my opinion you must do – distance your cellphone from your bed. True, it’s nice to get updated on all the things you missed during the day when you are quietly in bed, even answer a few more emails that you didn’t get to, but this becomes a nightmare when at 2:33 in the morning you’re still watching cute videos of cats. BTW, this is withdrawal like anything else…try again and again until you succeed at letting go of this awful habit. At least that’s what I do 🙂

 

5. Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol before bedtime

Caffeine {also in tea!} and alcohol have an adverse effect on the quality of sleep. The effects of caffeine on sleep are well known to all, but alcohol, which has an anesthetic effect, can also have equally negative effects on our sleep. It makes sleep more fragmented and less peaceful, and it is also very diuretic, which means there is a great chance that it will wake us up in the middle of the night.

Try and stop drinking these a few hours before your bedtime.

 

 

6. Create a pre-bedtime relaxing routine

Or, in other words, get yourself into your “zone”. Begin acquiring relaxing habits before bedtime, such as dimming the lights at home, taking a warm shower, wearing luxurious pj's, drinking hot, decaffeinated tea {chamomile does a great job!}, listening to calming music or even the oldest habit in the book – reading a good book in bed. The simpler, the better. Such a routine creates a gradual reduction of activity and prepares the body for sleep more in a more natural way.

 

7. Prepare your own “Temple of Sleep”

If you want to sleep like a queen at least 7-8 hours a night, then you'd better make your bedroom fit for the job. Make sure your mattress and pillows are cozy and comfortable, and make sure the room is dark, quiet and at a temperature that suits you. Experts say that even the smallest light penetrates the eyelids and interferes with the quality of sleep, so if you want to sleep pleasantly and have not been able to overcome the light and noises penetrating into your room, you can always try sleeping masks and earplugs. True, this is a bit extreme, but if it will help your sleep better, why not try? If you want to indulge yourself, spray the pillow with a pleasant scent that will put you in the mood when you lie in bed before falling aslep, and take slow, deep breaths.

 

 

8. Try to sleep at fixed hours

To adopt this habit you will need a lot of self discipline. The goal is to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day {yep, even on the weekends!} It is said that if you stick to regular hours of sleep and awakening, your body will eventually get used to it. I personally have not been able to adapt to this habit yet, but I have read that it greatly improves the quality of sleep.

 

9. Get into bed only when you’re sleepy

If you go to bed before your body signals fatigue, you will probably find it difficult to fall asleep – your body will simply not be ready enough for it. If it’s time for you to go to bed, and you don’t feel tired enough, just turn off the TV, move away your cell phone, and read a book until your eyes get tired.

 

 

10. Tried everything and still can’t sleep?

Been there. I got into bed, closed my eyes, took deep breaths, and just could not sleep. I felt the minutes go by, and with every passing minute, the pressure grew – I now have one less minute to sleep. The pressure must have caused me to lose all my sleep momentum, and I just turned over from side to side in a desperate attempt to fall asleep as soon as possible. If you identify with this annoying experience I have 4 words for you: Get out of bed!

Is it taking you more than 15 minutes to fall asleep? You're just not in a position to sleep. Get out of bed, turn on a dim light in another room and just do something soothing {that doesn’t include screens, right?} until you get into the proper sleep mode.

 

I know how difficult it can be to adapt to new habits overnight 🙂 Give yourself time to adjust to the listed suggestions – even if you begin with just two or three of them, you will soon feel a significant difference in the quality of your sleep.

 

Do you have any other good sleeping tips? Share your stories in the comments below … I'm always happy to hear more suggestions! 🙂

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2 Responses

  1. Quality sleep is more health beneficial than sleeping for long hours

    thank you! your blog was very healful

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