How to Improve Your Wellbeing Through Better Sleep
We all know that we feel groggy and unwell when we don’t get enough sleep, but how many of us are actually putting measures in place to improve our wellbeing by getting more of it?
We’re sure you’ve heard it plenty of times in the past, but a lack of sleep can cause all kinds of problems. From aches and pains to a lack of concentration – our wellbeing is directly impacted by the amount of zzz’s we’re getting.
Here are some of the easiest ways that you can improve your wellbeing by getting enough sleep.
Create a night-time routine
Getting yourself into a night routine is one of the easiest ways to get to sleep on time. Just like when we were kids, there are certain things you can do to help your brain power down at the end of a long day. We’re not saying you have to brush your teeth and be in bed by 8pm, but there are habits you can start forming.
Whether you enjoy a full skincare routine, a cup of sleepy tea, or a yoga session before you switch off, having a system in place that tells your body it’s time to get some rest is vital. Start thinking about the ways you like to wind down. Journaling, reading and meditating are all great ways to take some time away from your phone and create space to just be.
Make sure your family and friends know the drill
It’s recommended that you leave your phone alone for the last hour or so before you go to bed. This means no replying to messages, no looking at your phone, and if possible, minimising all light from external sources. You might want to text your family and friends letting them know that after 9pm, you won’t be reaching out.
If you live with friends or a partner, get them to help you stick to this rule by reminding you when you’re on your phone too late and holding you accountable. It can also be helpful to set an alarm for bedtime so you know when to start switching off.
Think about what you eat and drink
Try to avoid large, heavy meals a couple of hours before bedtime. While you might think that you’ll be nice and sleepy after a big course, avoid foods that can lead to an upset stomach.
You should also try and limit caffeine after lunch time, as too much can leave you feeling jittery and anxious. Alcohol is another thing that can interrupt your sleep. While it might help you get to sleep fast, you won’t stay that way for too long!
Make a sleep appointment with yourself
You wouldn’t skip a doctor’s appointment or cancel a work meeting at the last minute, so treat your bedtime with the same importance. Improve your wellbeing by creating a date with yourself – a date to get into bed and start relaxing.
It can be really powerful to reframe it in this way, and might help you prioritise your health. Getting a good night’s sleep is a duty to yourself, so make sure your bedtime is in your calendar every night.
Get to sleep earlier
Many of us like to stay up late into the evening. Whether we’re working late, out with friends late, or eating dinner late, after we’re done, we still need to switch off. A great way to boost your sleep routine is to try and make all of those steps earlier – especially eating dinner.
If you can start eating earlier, you’ll naturally dose off earlier, too. Plus, when your body doesn’t have to focus on digestion and burning energy while you’re supposed to be resting, it can focus on letting you drift off to sleep..
Keep your space dark
Keeping your space dark is a great way to show your body that it’s night time, and allow you to start producing melatonin to relax ready for bed. Artificial light can make it hard for our body to notice the natural rhythms of the world, and for us to know when it’s time to sleep.
Whether it’s an annoying street light or a gap in your blinds, there are ways to help darken any space. Start with block-out curtains, or by changing the angle of your bed to avoid direct light. There are also easy, portable options, like an eye mask, which will help block out any light.
Move your body
Exercise is a great way to improve not just your sleep, but your wellbeing in general. Whether it’s walking, yoga, swimming or HIIT, be sure to get your body moving so you’re tired by the end of the day. You’ll also find that exercise increases endorphins and helps regulate your mood, so it’s a win-win!
Try to limit any strenuous exercise before bed. Keep your runs and weight sessions to light hours. Instead, try yoga or stretching before you climb under the covers.
Invest in your wellbeing
When you invest in yourself – it always pays dividends. Buying a few treats can help you set the tone for your new sleep routine. Whether it’s a new set of cosy PJs to get you in the right headspace, or a book you can unwind with – it’s all about setting the right mood. Think about what you think could help you wind down and go from there.
Whatever tips you try, keep in mind catching up on those extra zzz’s is worth it! Despite how uncomfortable and rigid a routine feels at first, or how much you crave a 3pm coffee – your body will certainly thank you. Sleep is an important part of wellbeing, and one that we should all be making a top priority.