Your autumn 5-step DIY guide to better sleep
The Easter long weekend gives us all a chance to catch our breath, get some rest and prepare ourselves for the second quarter of 2021, and for the coming cold weather. Why not use the time off to start some healthy new sleep habits? Here are five healthy habits to cultivate, starting this weekend (and if you’re not home, here are some tips on getting better rest while travelling)!
1. Calming pre-bedtime habits
Whether you’ve been spending your downtime in active, adventurous or relaxed pursuits, that fresh, rejuvenated feeling won’t last long without adequate sleep. Winding down before bed is easier when you prepare your body and mind for rest. Find a calming pre-bedtime habit, whether it’s reading a book, drawing a bath, having tea, saying prayers, or just taking deep breaths. Committing to a steady bedtime routine is great for your body and mind.
2. Eat healthy; sleep healthy
It’s easy to think of sleep preparation happening in the last hour or so before you close your eyes. In reality, health-aware food choices throughout the whole day will ensure a better night’s sleep. With chocolate eggs and sweet treats to tempt you, be mindful about limiting your treats and choosing healthy alternatives where you can. A plentiful, healthy diet gives your body the fuel it needs so you sleep well, instead of lying in bed dreaming about a quick snack.
3. Hydrate all day
We’ve all heard that drinking plenty of water (approximately eight glasses a day), can help your body stay healthy. It’s true – from relieving headaches to aiding weight management, helping your brain stay focused, and even the quality of your sleep. Of course, trying to hydrate right before bed will work against you, so it’s important to hydrate throughout the day. If you find plain water too boring, try rooibos tea (without milk or sugar) or a glass of water with a lemon wedge or sprig of mint instead.
4. Ban electronics an hour before you plan to sleep
Preparing your mind for sleep is essential for a good night’s sleep. But it’s easy to erase your mind-settling work by sinking into bed with your phone or tablet, or with the TV on. While electronic screens are a constant companion throughout your day, they can destroy your goal of a good night’s rest. Keeping electronics out of the bedroom is a great habit to stick to, creating an intentional space for distraction-free sleep.
5. Create the perfect sleep space
Have you ever participated in activities that required special equipment or a uniform? You probably had to invest time to research and shop for the right items to meet your needs. The same is true when you’re preparing for sleep—you need to have the “equipment” that works for you. Everyone has their own personal preference for pillow and mattress firmness, as well as bedding. Some people find a thick duvet too hot and prefer a lighter option, with a throw for when the weather gets chilly. Some find a weighted blanket helpful for easing anxiety and aiding sleep. As the winter weather approaches, you might want to switch to winter sheeting for an even comfier bed.
For more fun sleep facts and expert sleep advice, visit our Sleep Blog.