Getting a good night’s rest can make a huge difference for our ability to problem solve on a daily basis. It can also make a huge difference in the quality of one’s life long-term. I often talk about healthy sleeping habits on my Instagram and other healthy lifestyle tips on my website. Below I have composed my top 5 healthy sleeping tips that have helped me get that much needed good night rest, and practice these on a consistent basis –
- Take a long hot shower
Taking a long hot shower before putting my sleepwear on has helped me relax and almost “wash” my worries away before bedtime. Beforehand, I use the dry brush which helps give my skin a glow and improves my circulation after sitting desk side all day long in front of my computer. Also, I like to prepare a fresh-clean towel that I can toss afterwards, my body oil and moisturizers that I apply lavishly afterwards. Having soft pajamas, and right for the season – not too light or too heavy depending on the time of the year, is another important ingredient to feeling good in my skin once my head hits the pillow. My hot shower ritual is a key component of helping me unwind and relax before turning off the lights.
- Make a cup of warm herbal tea
I cannot emphasize the importance of a good cup of herbal tea before falling asleep. And make sure it is herbal and caffeine-free. There is an amazing array to pick from any grocery aisle from the classics like peppermint and chamomile to ones I’ve seen increase in popularity over the recent years like ginger and hibiscus.
- Off with white light – evaluate the lighting in your room
I was not aware that there were two types of lighting until I made a mistake recently by purchasing white light and noticing that in my dining room there were lights that were completely of different color hues. I even took it upon myself to speak with a lighting designer who informed that white light should only be used in dim places like the basement and yellow light was more appropriate for the bedroom. And this brings me to my next point – make sure that incandescent lights are nowhere near before you turn the lights out. You want to make sure that the mood is set for you to ease into sleep.
- Invest into a comfortable mattress and sheets
A high quality mattress (yes, learn about different mattress materials and that a firm mattress isn’t always the best) and high thread count sheets are an investment rather than a luxury. One of the facts that helped me get a good night’s sleep was investing into soft 100% cotton sheets with a thread count of 1,500 and one silk pillowcase that prevents my hair from being ripped when turning. As a college student, I underestimated the value of quality bedding and of course once I graduated and started facing real world problems, I became a much more sensitive sleeper.
- Out with heavy meals
It was not too long ago that I spoke with a nutritionist, and she informed me that heavy meals could cause an upset stomach – it was the intensity of food digestion that affected our metabolism that tries to wind down before sleep. Instead, I switched to eating a salad with a light dressing or cottage cheese to add some protein if I felt particularly hungry. Banana and yogurt was another alternative so I would not wake-up with my stomach growling in the middle of the night.
All of these night time rituals from taking a hot shower to preparing healthy meals and/or snacks helped institute some form of order, which my body in turn perceived as soothing and calming. There may be different rituals that work particularly well for you, such as keeping a sleep diary or mediating, but make sure to implement some that your body starts associating with relaxation, i.e., on the opposite spectrum of anxiety, worry and fear.