Sleep, and especially good sleep, is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. Think about how poor sleep impacts you. How many mistakes do you make? How much energy do you have? It is likely the last time you got sick, it was right after a bad night’s sleep. So not only is it important to get enough sleep, but it’s also important to get QUALITY sleep.
Before we continue, consider tracking your sleep with your phone, watch, or any other device that can track the stages of your sleep. It is much easier to track progress if you have data to show you what is happening in your sleep. Either way, these simple, proven tips will help you get the quality rest you need:
- Drink less alcohol, especially at night: This is an unpopular one. We all would like to think that a glass of wine or beer after a hard day's work will help us unwind. And it can mentally, but it will prevent you from getting a deep sleep. If you have a sleep tracking device that also monitors heart rate, watch your heart rate on a night with no alcohol vs. one where you consumed alcohol. You will see how much harder your body has to work to process the alcohol. The reason is it considers alcohol a toxin and first order priority for removal. Working all night to break down alcohol is hardly restful. We like to substitute one alcoholic drink with an alternative like a CBD beverage or seltzer water to give our bodies a break.
- No caffeine after noon: For some, this one might be harder than the alcohol. If you have low energy in the afternoon and are consuming caffeine to get through your day, there’s bad news: you are stuck in a vicious cycle. The caffeine in the afternoon is contributing to your sleep issues, which in turn causes you to be tired the next day. Even worse, you quickly develop a tolerance to caffeine and have to consume even more for the same effects, just now with more side-effects. Try a caffeine detox during the weekend to see if you can break the cycle and get back on your sleep clock.
- Give your eyes a break: Part of the reason sleeplessness has been climbing over the decades is that we have bright lights and screens in our faces 24/7. Try to put screens down an hour or two before bed. I know, sound boring. But you can read a book, enjoy time with family or friends, or just relax to some music. If you have a lot of blue light, consider blue light blockers. Those silly looking orange sunglasses that block the blue light. A lot of devices have a night shift mode, but blue blockers are the best way to make sure blue light is not triggering your eyes.
- Get out of your head: Often stress can be a major factor for those waking up in the middle of the night. But how do you address it at night without waking yourself up more? Write it out on paper or phone, whatever is convenient for you. Our brains are wired to not want to forget stressful things until we do something about them. Amazingly, jotting them down is enough to count as “doing something” and your brain can then proceed with its normal sleep patterns.
- Get into routines: Routines can help to signal to the body that it’s time to start shutting down. We are biased, but our favorite routine is taking a warm CBD bath bomb bath to soothe the muscles and open the pores. Then using the full body daily moisturizer to let the CBD soak in. Lastly, about an hour before bed, taking the Better Sleep sublingual drops. Just avoid the glass of wine, watching screens, and eating large meals before bed as a part of your routine.