Work, kids, family, sport and hobbies. How do you combine them successfully? There’s only 24 hours in the day—and you can’t give everyone and everything the time that they deserve. For many women, there’s one easy victim in this battle: sleep.
It’s easy to justify getting an hour less so you can give more energy to your kids or at your job. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary in our hectic lives. But there is a toll for this. Not getting the right amount of sleep every night can cause weight gain, faster aging and even more stress. Not something that increases the quality of your life, right? Sleep is a bit like the flight attendants who warn you in the plane: put on your own oxygen mask first before helping your child.
The following easy tips are designed to give you better and higher-quality sleep and are strategies you can implement right away. Some sleep experts recommend completely overhauling your diet or sleeping hygiene, but often that’s asking for too much. It’s better to take small and simple steps that work—and once you have the time and energy for making larger changes, then you can do those.
Optimize Your Bedroom
It surprises me when I’m at a friend’s place and she’s got a bright street light in front of the window, but no blackout curtains. It might feel like not such a big deal, but even the smallest amount of light influences your sleep. It’s an easy one-time step that can make a drastic improvement. Some others to try are:
- Controlling the temperature in the bedroom to be between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius
- Charging your phone in the living room (get an old-fashioned alarm clock) to minimize distractions
- Comfortable mattress + pillows
- Keeping the TV or other distractions out of the bedroom
- Have a pair of sleeping earplugs on your nightstand in case of outside noise
Take Time to Relax at Night
This one is a classic, but how many times do you find yourself checking your (work) mail at 10:20 PM when your bedtime is 20 minutes later? Your brain needs time to unwind and chill down.
An easy way to do this is to start a relaxing ritual. It doesn’t need to take much time (10 minutes to 30 minutes is fine), but it shows your brain that it’s time to sleep.
Some ideas for this are:
- Drinking a cup of herbal tea
- Listening to chill music
- Having a hot shower
- Reading a nice (fiction) book
- Watching a comedy series
- Doing some stretching or yoga exercises
The important thing here is that it doesn’t really matter what you choose, as long as it calms you down and signals the transition time from being active to relaxing and going to bed.
Consider Taking Naps
Not everyone will be able to just take a nap at work, but if you work from home or your boss allows it, it can be incredibly rewarding to take a 20-minute nap during the day. It can help you stay more productive and focused and it helps with combating the effects of sleep deprivation, if you haven’t been getting enough restful sleep at night.
What are your favorite methods to get more (quality sleep)? Let us know!
Jamy Russell started Sleep Investor to teach people simple, yet effective ways to improve sleep. Falling asleep doesn’t have to be as difficult as many people make it out to be, and often there are many easy wins that people overlook in their quest for better sleep.