How To Get The Best Sleep Ever
Whether you suffer from insomnia (like I used to) or you simply get restless at night (from thinking about all of your exciting ideas in life), losing out on valuable sleep time can wreak havoc in your daily routine. You're tired, you're groggy, you're not as focused, and your skin isn't at peak glow. All bad.
If you wake up early for school or work, it's absolutely necessary that you fall asleep on time and stay asleep all through the night. I've implemented a number of habits and techniques that have given me the best sleep of my life this past year, and they'll probably work for you too:
Try a sleeping mask
If I had to contribute my amazing sleep to one thing it would, without a doubt, be my sleeping mask. I started wearing a sleeping mask after I began watching the Gossip Girl series (yes, really). Blair Waldorf and I are kindred spirits in many ways, so I figured: if she sleeps with a sleeping mask, then so should I. Although a bit weird and uncomfortable at first, it only took about a week before I became addicted. Blocking out all of the excess light in the room (even the tiny ones from my chargers and tv power buttons) puts my brain into automatic sleep mode. Plus, it makes me feel like a tv show prima donna, which is always fun.
I currently do the Insanity workout program by Shaun T. It's the most ridiculous (but amazing) workout program I've ever done. By the end of the work out, I'm so physically exhausted that all I want to do is take a shower and hop in bed. But guess what? I have the best sleep ever afterward. There's a significant difference in my sleep quality on the days I work out versus the days I don't. (Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor or physician, so consult whoever you need to before you kill yourself with something like Insanity.)
Upgrade your bed
Have you ever traveled to a hotel with a bed so beautiful that you wanted to sleep in it all day? Why not give your bedroom the same treatment? Invest in a better quality mattress, a beautiful headboard, and comfy blankets and pillows. Make it your sanctuary so you can't wait to dive in it. Then when it's time for bed, make sure it's cleared off -- no laptop, no papers, no pens. Nothing except space for you (or maybe you and your beau).
Play soft music
There's nothing like a soft mellow playlist to vibe to as you drift off to dreamland. I found that I don't like to go to sleep in complete silence. Instead, I usually play a sleep time playlist comprised of chill tracks from Alina Baraz, Corinne Bailey Rae, Amel Larrieux, SZA, and a few others. Other times I'll just put on one of their Pandora stations. The playlist will eventually end (or Pandora will hit you with the "Are you still listening?"), which I like, because the music won't keep playing when I no longer need it.
Limit day time naps
I used to nap for hours at a time. I'd be dead to the world. I prayed about it (literally), and now I no longer nap during the day (it was a waste of time). While short cat naps can refuel you, taking too many or taking ones that are too long will eventually mess up your sleeping pattern. By the time you're actually supposed to sleep (which for most people is at night), you're wide awake. Keep yourself busy during the day or get some sunshine instead to refuel you. If you must nap, keep it short and sweet. Save the deep sleep for bedtime.
Brain dump before bed
If you find your mind running sprints in your head every night, you probably have too many ideas in there. Get a notebook dedicated only to brain dumping. Write out all of the ideas, thoughts, aggression, wishes, hopes, recipe ideas, future baby names, things you want to text your ex, and everything else stuck in your head. If you're always thinking about work, make your to-do list for the next day or upcoming week so you won't go to bed stressed about what did or didn't get done that day. Let your brain be empty (figuratively, of course) before bed so all you'll have to think about is sleep.
Stop working in your bedroom
If you're always up thinking about work when you should be asleep, it's probably because do work in your bedroom. A lot of people do -- it's comfortable and convenient. But unfortunately, if you keep associating your bed with work, you'll find it harder and harder to use that same bed for what it's actually meant for -- sleep. Make yourself a separate office space in your house, and start working there instead. Leave your bed to be used for bedtime things only.