10 Ways to Sleep Better for Overall Improved Health
There is no better day than today! We wanted to bring you some advice on how to #SleepBetter so you can improve your overall health and well-being. Sleep is so important in keeping our bodies working properly, so here is how you can be a savvy sleeper!
*Note: All advice is based on our personal experience, or what is learned from sources provided.
1. Eat your veggies.
Eating well (more veggies and proteins) closer to bedtime will help you sleep better. Too many carbohydrates (high sugar foods) before bed raises your blood sugar and can make you feel uncomfortable. I have become a major vegetable fan over the past few years. Once you get used to the flavors, you can start adding them into sauces, blended juices, or simply roasting them as a snack. I fell in love with Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook - Deceptively Delicious on ways to hide veggies in you and your kids' meals. Filled with tons of vitamins, minerals, and fiber it's a no-brainer why vegetables are good for your body.
If you are having trouble falling asleep because thoughts keep racing through your mind, try focusing on the present moment and your breath. Breathing in slowly and deeply, imaging the fresh oxygen getting to all the tips of your body. My favorite phrase in past yoga classes during quiet time at the end is " As thoughts and feelings come into the mind, acknowledge them and let them go. You can deal with them at a different time." Learning to control your own mind is extremely important in many situations, not just falling to sleep.
This goes along with meditating, and is perfect about 10-20 minutes before bed. Sitting or standing in the same positions while at work, driving, and watching TV can tighten your back and legs. Stretching will release tension and help ease you to sleep. I found SaraBethYoga on YouTube a few months ago, she has tons of videos for your different moods and times of day. Here is a great one with three stretches for when it is hard to sleep- Link Here.
4. Drink Water.
Make sure to drink water after dinner, and a little bit before bed. It will help your body get all the nutrients where they need to go. Also, it helps you sleep throughout the night. We have all had those moments when you wake up somewhere around 2am and feel so thirsty!
5. Reading a Book (not on your devices).
Not only is it fun to get lost in a good book, but reading from a physical book is better for your eyes and brain before going to sleep. Blue light that comes from your phone confuses your brain into thinking it is daytime. Here's a article from Harvard about blue light health issues- Link Here. Check out the new iOS update on Apple products that has a lighting setting which reduces the blue tones on your devices!
6. Wash your face.
Your mom has told you to wash your face ever since you could remember. She's right again! Imagine all the things you touched today - phone, door knobs, handrail - and then touched your face at some point. All those germs and oils build up and can clog pores. Try a warm wash cloth to wash it all away before bed and relax.
If you have the opportunity to nap during the day, stick with 20-30 power naps. One trick I've liked is drinking a small cup of coffee right before laying down, then clearing my mind as much as possible for a 20-30 minute nap. Most of the time it is just enough sleep to refuel the brain, and the caffeine kicks in so you do not feel groggy. Try it, and let us know if you have better advice!
8. Lavender or Chamomile.
Lavender & Chamomile scents and teas are know for their calming effects. According to the National Sleep Foundation, "lavender has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure, potentially putting you in a more relaxed state." Read more here. Have some chamomile tea, or put a lavender sachet in your Savvy Sleepers secret pocket before bed. See pocket details here.
9. Smile and Be Thankful.
Right now, think of one little thing you are thankful for- it could be something someone did for you today, or simply that you have a roof over your head. Before bed tonight, try thinking about a 5-10 things you are lucky to have or experience. It will lead to a more positive mindset, and drift off into a sweet slumber. It's my little secret to being happy.
10. Sleep on a satin pillowcase.
Not only is this what we here at Savvy Sleepers are all about, but we strongly stand by satin's anti-aging properties. Ultra-smooth for skin and hair, they help reduce hair breakage and protect your skin from deep sleep creases that can become permanent over time. Satin and silk are very similar beneficially, but our satin is more durable and machine washable. One less thing to worry about!