Getting more sleep has its perks. It can make you healthier, more beautiful and live longer. All things that anyone desires. Sometimes lack of sleep takes a back seat to our daily routine, whether it is our job or tasks that must be accomplished (the never ending to-do list!). From the start of your day to the moment your head places the pillow,your emotions, thoughts, decisions, problems, excitement, happiness and moods all play into the way you sleep and how you feel when you are in bed. This is why it is extremely important to make sleep a priority.
How to Make Sleep a Priority
Many reading this might think… easier said than done. However, noticing that you are lacking sleep is the first sign to make a huge adjustment in your life.
Start with critically thinking about how much sleep you receive a night. Seriously look at each day like a play-by-play of how well you sleep. Perhaps Monday is a full 8 hours but Wednesday is only 6.5 hours. Did you awake during the night? Is it hard in the beginning of bedtime to fall asleep? Start adding these numbers up. Studies say that 8 hours a sleep a night is key, so if you are receiving 40 hours a week or more, pat yourself on the back. But if you are still sleepy? Keep a diary next to your bed. Write down how you feel in a sentence or two each morning after you shower. Think about why you slept how you did and if there are factors the day prior that may have prolonged or effected your sleeping pattern.
Switch up your routine if this persists. Try eating differently, less sugar and caffeine is a start. Add in 30 minutes of exercise up to three times per week, particularly in the morning or right after work. Eat less before bed and more in the morning, but avoid heavy carbs. If tired around 2 or 3 p.m. during work, instead of drinking coffee, opt for some water with fresh squeezed lemon and ice to awake you or make yourself some warm decaffeinated tea. When off work and home from the gym, relax. Whether it is with your kids or husband, girlfriend or dog… enjoy a funny show or read a good book. Try to tire your eyes and get your mind off the stress of the day.
Continue once you’ve adjusted your routine to keep your diary and see if you notice a distinct difference or perhaps none. If this does not help and your sleeping patterns still suffer after exercise, healthy diet and relaxation, consult your physician or psychologist for more advice.