Rolling over to turn off your alarm and still feeling tired is – arguably – one of the most inconvenient and irritating ways to wake up. When I sleep, I dream of naps – or dinosaurs. I love sleeping. Sometimes I cannot help waking up groggy or still tired and with daylight saving coming up,
I dread losing an hour of my precious sleep because I am not an 18th-century farmer. Luckily, the sleep and wellness institute gave tips on how to improve your rest.
What is your bedtime routine?
First thing is first is setting a routine. A consistent bedtime can do wonders for the quality of sleep by providing consistency for your circadian rhythm. In a sense if you can go to bed at the same times and wake up at the same times you will have an easier time falling asleep at night and feel more rested in the morning. Right before bed, we all may have a general routine to prepare to hit our lunar reset buttons. Brushing teeth, getting into PJs and reading a chapter or two of a book helps prepare your mind for sleep. Finally, what’s for dinner might hinder the deepness of your sleep. Staring down that big ol’ juicy burger, just waiting to dive in and revel in the bliss of a phenomenal meal might be appealing, but greasy food might have you waking up just as groggy as you went to bed. Maybe put down the burger and have something a little healthier if you have a big day tomorrow. For the maximum effect, you will want to give yourself about two hours to digest dinner before you go to bed.
Especially in the past year, it has become increasingly difficult to separate our work lives from our personal. But setting boundaries in your own space is a good way to improve the quality of sleep. Separating a workspace from a relaxation-space strengthens the association between a calming area and an area for work. I know I am guilty of scrolling though social media right before bed, but apparently screen time about 30 minutes before bed can reduce the melatonin production, which makes it harder to fall asleep.
Careful with what you consume.
I am the type of person who can down a cup of coffee and pass out right when I hit the pillow, but it might make it harder to make it to REM sleep, which is the deep sleep our body craves. Caffeine is like nicotine. As a stimulant it energizes the body, but the addictiveness of cigarettes can cause the user to experience withdrawal while they are dead to the world. Waking up for that midnight dart? That is your body telling you sleep is worth sacrificing to minimize the symptoms of withdrawal. Alcohol does help you pass out, but you may wake up multiple times during the night.
How much sleep do you need?
Children 5-12 should get about 10 hours of sleep. Adolescents need 9 hours of sleep and adults (sorry) need about 7-9 hours of sleep. I like to push for the 9 hours, but in a pinch, I suppose 7 will cut it.