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We all know the negative effects of not getting a good night’s rest. A lack of sleep takes its toll on every aspect of our lives: physical, mental, psychological… Many people may think that this is just the way it is, but I’m here to tell you that’s not true!
We can create conditions and the perfect environment for sleep. A good night’s rest depends on what happens hours before we actually go to bed.
I’ve been working on changing my habits for years so I can maximize on getting good quality sleep and I’m here today to tell you what I’ve learned.
- Eat dinner early and make it something small: Ideally, we should have dinner when the sun is still out, as this provides for better digestion, which means that we will go to bed feeling lighter. It’s more difficult to sleep when we have a full, heavy stomach.
- Turn off all electronics at least one hour before bed: The light from cell phones and other screens inhibit the release of Melatonin. Besides the blue light they emit, we should also take into account the release of electromagnetic waves, which are not recommended for rest. I decided quite a while ago to not keep my cell phone in the bedroom and it’s made a big difference in my life.
- Eat foods that are high in Melatonin: As we saw in this post from a few weeks ago foods like, Bananas, Oats, Nuts, and Eggs… all contain high levels of Melatonin and help us to sleep better.
- Cut out Coffee and Alcohol: Drink chamomile tea or a cup of Golden Milk before bed. It seems simple, but it is one of the most effective things you can do.
- Take a walk through nature: If you live in a city get out of its vortex and reconnect with nature, it has a way of resetting us. You might be wondering how this helps- well getting away from light and noise pollution brings us a sense of internal peace, making us more relaxed before bed.
- Work out: Physical activity brings our levels of stress down and is a fundamental factor in getting a good night’s rest. I would recommend doing this in the morning or in the early afternoon so you are not over-activating your system closer to bedtime.
- Relaxation techniques: Using breathing techniques, meditation and other relaxing activities is always better than taking a pill. It reduces stress, improves breathing, increases blood oxygenation, promotes digestion, and expulses carbon dioxide, all of which help to fall asleep.
- Take a hot shower or bath: Hot water at the end of the day is a great way to relax your nervous system and bring your body down to a more calm state after a long day.
- Activities you can do before bed: Read, listen to music, play with your kids, meditate… avoid screens, and the temptation to pick up your phone! Who is up for the challenge?
- Aromatherapy: Using essential oils can be a good idea. You can use them to give yourself a massage or apply a few drops to your pillow. The best ones for a good night’s sleep are lavender, geranium, and ylang-ylang.
- Lower the temperature in your bedroom: Our body sleeps better when it is in a cool room. The ideal temperature is 18º C.
- Go to bed earlier: Never later than 10 pm. The reason is that Melatonin and the restorative and anti-aging functions peak at 2am. Ideally, at that time, we should already be in a state of deep sleep in order to maximize all the benefits of a good night’s rest.