When it comes to healthy habits, there’s a lot of focus on exercise and nutrition. However, sleeping habits are the base of the pyramid, supporting everything else in our lives. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll lack the ability to properly metabolize that healthy food or recover from your intense workout.
Sleep quality also plays a role in our cognition, from how we focus on tasks to how we process challenges. In essence, your sleep goes hand-in-hand with your quality of life.
Here are some key sleeping habits to have a more successful life.
Prepare Your Ideal Sleep Environment
The first step in building healthy sleep habits is to prepare an ideal sleep environment. The four core elements of an ideal sleep environment include light, temperature, sound, and comfort.
A dim, light-free space is ideal for most sleepers. Consider using black-out curtains to block outside light and create a peaceful retreat. For comfort, revisit if you have the right mattress for your body type and sleep position. This article shows how to choose the right mattress to guide this process.
To deal with sound, consider using a white noise machine or running a fan to create ambient noise. This feature makes it less likely for you to wake suddenly when the house settles, or your neighbor revs their engine.
Finally, studies have shown that turning the temperature down a few degrees can help the body settle into a restful state. When you sleep, your internal temperature drops slightly. This subtle strategy can prevent you from getting overheated and prepare your body for rest.
Avoid Eating Before Bed
You’ve probably heard that eating before bed is a bad idea because you’ll gain weight. Like many myths, this misinformation stems from the truth. A cookie has the same amount of calories whether you eat it at 2 PM or 8 PM. However, eating close to bedtime will trigger your digestive system, which could cause disruptions to your sleep.
Try not to eat in the two hours leading to bedtime. If you’re hungry enough that you won’t be able to sleep anyway, try something easy to digest.
Unplug an Hour Before Bed
The blue light emitted from screens triggers our natural circadian rhythms to signal that it’s time to get up and face the day. Unfortunately, that’s incredibly disruptive at night time.
Try to unplug an hour before bed to give your mind a chance to wind down. This strategy also helps you avoid spending all night scrolling through social media or watching “one more episode” on Netflix.
Put Your Alarm Out of Reach
If you’re not getting the sleep you need, you probably battle with your snooze button every morning. This practice can disrupt your sleep patterns even further.
Instead, put your alarm out of reach so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off. You may feel more tired during the first few days, but your body will start to wind down better before bedtime. Eventually, it will even out.
Practice a Mindfulness Routine
If your stress and anxiety are keeping you up at night, you’re not alone. One effective way to de-stress before bed is to practice a mindfulness routine. Use journaling or meditation to process your thoughts and let go of things you can’t control. Even the practice of unwinding and listening to music or reading a book can be beneficial.
Try to Be Consistent with Timing
Humans are built for routines. Your body needs consistency to develop habits and to make your intentional actions second nature. In addition to creating a sleep routine with mindfulness and screen-free time, it’s also worthwhile to try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
For many of us, this idea is easier than it sounds. Many people work shift work or like to sleep in on the weekends. Sometimes social events keep us up later than usual.
Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. If you can set a general sleep and wake-up schedule for most of the time, your body will adapt. This practice also makes it easier for your body to readjust after going off schedule for a day or two.
Keep a Sleep Journal
Finally, if your sleep habits are a struggle, start keeping a sleep journal. Identify what time you go to bed, when you wake up, and how you feel. Note anything that could have impacted the quality of your sleep, from restless toddlers to late-night tacos.
Improving your sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. Start these simple practices to lead a more successful life.
Find more tip sin our health and wellness archives.
Hi! I’m Crystal Martin, a stay at home mom of 4, living in KY with my high school sweetheart husband of 20+ years. My husband and I are co-bloggers at Cinnamon Hollow where we write about homesteading, travel, beauty, our lives with our kids and pets, fun and free printables as well as the products and services that make our lives just a little bit easier – and a lot more fun!
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