What is Wrecking Your Sleep?
I was having a really hard time falling asleep last night and I thought I did everything right when it comes to "getting ready for bed", but I didn't get to sleep until after 11. When I sat down at my desk this morning, I immediately started looking for reasons why I couldn't fall asleep and it turns out, I didn't do everything right. Here are the mistakes we're all making that explain why we aren't getting enough sleep.
I always read before bed, but apparently you're not supposed to do that. I find reading incredibly relaxing, so reading a magazine or a good book before bed is one way for me to unwind, but your body gets used to reading so you're not going to feel tired until you've logged a couple of chapters. Instead of bringing your book to bed, try and find a comfortable chair or couch and read there before starting your bedtime routine.
Stay Off Social Media
Facebooking and being on Twitter or having any kind of bright screen time is no way to send yourself off into dreamland. Even television is a no no. The brightness of the screen stimulates the brain and tricks it into thinking that it's daylight and your body isn't programmed to fall asleep when it's day time. It's also difficult for your mind to shut off when you've been working or making a to do list because that's what you're going to think about when you try to go to sleep. Give yourself time to unwind without electronic gadgets.
Don't Skimp on Your Mattress
My Grandpa always told me "Good shoes on your feet and a good mattress under your back." A good mattress can cost you anywhere from five hundred to three thousand bucks, but it's money well spent. Do your homework because with a decent mattress, it's going to last a long time and you're going to get better and more restful sleep. When I was looking for a bed, I told the kid "I need quilted plywood. Give me the most rock hard bed you have" and he led me right over to the bed that we have in our bedroom now. Same goes for your bedding and your pillow or pillows. There are different pillows for the different ways we sleep, but my most favoriteist pillow ever in life is the Tempurpedic Memory Foam Pillow. It's like a hundred bucks, but it's THE BEST!
Don't Set a Bright Alarm Clock
Again, your body isn't programmed to go to sleep when it's light out, so if your alarm clock looks like a beacon on a lighthouse, you need to switch it to dim or get a new clock. If there's no dimmer switch or buying a new clock isn't an option, try and block out the clock light with a book or magazine. Your room should be as dark as possible, so get rid of night lights, bright clocks and outside light. If you don't have them already, try and get room darkening shades or light blocking curtains.
Stay on Schedule
Maintaining your sleep schedule even on the weekends is one sure fire way to get a good night's sleep during the week. I don't do that because I'm not going to bed at 9pm on Saturday night or getting up at 4:30am on Saturday morning unless it's to go to the bathroom, but sleep experts say that maintaining your sleep schedule is the number one way to insure you're going to fall asleep on the weeknights because our bodies respond to routine. Start your routine at the same time every night and try to get to bed around the same time every night and your body will know it's time to sleep.