(TGATP Note: I have been under a tremendous amount of stress revolving around my apartment and the State of our Nation for over two years now. Every aspect of my life has been affected and I have gained over 40 lbs from it. Thus this summer, I have decided to partner with a host of different experts and brands on wellness articles that will help both you – and me- get it back together healthwise. First up, this sponsored post from the Sleep Advisor.)
The secret to a happy, healthy life is something surprisingly simple.
Get. More. Sleep.
Yep, that’s it! All you need to quickly improve your quality of Life is to improve your sleep times. Sleeping well has a profound impact on almost every single facet of our existence. It improves our appearance. It improves our productivity at work. It improves our moods, which improves our relationships and interactions with each other. It improves our sex drive and even how much we enjoy sex. It makes us more creative. It makes us more sociable. It even gives us a more powerful memory.
It reduces the risk of anxiety, stress, depression and even suicide. It keeps us thin. Reduces the risk of diabetes, stroke, heart attack, cancer and even Alzheimer’s. Woah! I’d better stop here because the list is almost endless and I’m gonna run out of space! Sleep as discussed by the Sleep Advisor truly is a miraculous thing. Yet, so few of us, give it the respect it deserves.
Knowing you should get more sleep and actually achieving that are two very different things. Well, don’t worry I am about to give you a helping hand. Sleep aids can certainly help but the real key to getting better sleep is all about treating your bedtime routine with respect. With the addition of some very simple little pre-bed rituals you can have a profound impact on your sleep and with it your entire life.
Respect Your Bedtime
The single most important ritual is your bedtime. And no, bedtimes are not just for kids they are for all of us. All of us who want to be healthy and happy anyway! If you don’t have a set bedtime, make one. You should be aiming for around 8 hours sleep every single night. So, work out when you have to be up in the morning and wind the clock back 8 hours. Boom! That’s your bedtime. Stick to it.
Any less than 7 hours and you are doing your health and your skin a disservice. Want to look like a more wrinkled version of Keith Richards by the time you’re 35? Well keep disrespecting your bedtime. No offense Keith, we love you!
Regularity is the most important thing anyone can do to help there sleep. The brain loves it. Go to bed at the same time everyday, get up at the same time. Every day. Seven days a week. Your body doesn’t give two hoots whether it’s a weekday or the weekend. You think our caveman ancestors had weekends? The brain will very quickly begin to associate a certain time in the evening with sleep and it will begin to take shortcuts that will accelerate the process. Helping you fall asleep quicker, and stay asleep longer.
Dim It Down
The reason you feel exhausted in the evening but can’t fall asleep when you climb into bed, is because your body is tired but your brain is overstimulated. The culprit: Today’s fast paced, screen infested and over illuminated world. Damn you Edison and your lightbulbs! Damn you Steve Jobs and you’re beautiful, beautiful lit screened machines! Damn you Netflix!
The solution? Go on a light diet in the hour before bed. That means turning off every single screen. And yes, that includes your smartphone. So send that last hilarious tweet an hour before your scheduled bedtime and you can wait until morning for your comments.
Also, switch off any bright bulbs in home, especially in your sleep area. Where possible switch to some nice ambient, romantic side lamps. Not only will your crib look a little bit more atmospheric, you will be surprised at what a sleep-inducing impact this little change can make.
Have A Hot Bath Or Shower
Having a hot bath before bed is my favorite pre-bed ritual. Not only does it feel great, but there is scientific evidence that a warm bath or shower will help you sleep better. Researchers have found that in order to initiate sleep the brain needs to drop its temp by 2-3°F. That’s why it’s so much easier to drop off in a cold room than one that is too hot. According to Time magazine, “That’s because body temperature plays an important part in regulating circadian rhythm, which tells the body when to feel sleepy or alert. Several studies have shown that warming your body by taking a bath can help induce sleep when there’s enough time to cool off afterward.”
What has being cold got to do with a hot bath I hear you cry? Well, having a toasty bath is actually an amazing hack to cool your body down before bed. Sounds counterintuitive I know. When you step into the hot water all your blood rushes to the surface of your skin. Rosy cheeks anyone? When you then step out again, all these heat is transferred to the cold air around you and your core body temp plummets. Its this cooling that makes you super sleepy. Throw in some lovely bath products to maximize your relaxation. I love love love the Delicate Jasmine Body Scrub and Shower Oil. My mental life coach Oprah swears by a nightly bath and if it’s good enough for O, it’s definitely good enough for you and me!
Well, there you have – three super achievable bedtime rituals that won’t cost you a penny. Give them a whirl and transform your Life.