Friday, January 24, 2014

Work It Wednesday: How to Unwind for a Good Night's Sleep

With so much to do these days, sleep sometimes seems like an impossible task. Especially if you have kids. Which means that an uninterrupted 8 hours of slumber...only happens in our dreams. Or we're super sick & in that case it doesn't count. But I have noticed that, for me anyways, a good quality 6 hours does the job. As long as I take the time to unwind before bed, I tend to sleep like a baby (even if I get woken up 5 times).

Keep a Schedule - If we're such sticklers for keeping schedules during the day, why wouldn't we stick to one when it comes to sleeping too? Go to bed the same time every night & get up the same time every morning. And yes, there's always room for a 30 min. window (at least that's what I tell myself).

Dim the Lights - Just about every time I turn the lights off to watch a movie, I fall asleep. It must be my mind's signal that it's time to sleep. So dimming the lights is like a yellow traffic light telling you to slow down because you're going to need to stop soon. 

Turn Off the TV - If you're anything like me, you'll make yourself stay up just to find out what happened at the end of the show you're watching. Got a DVR? Program it to record & read a book instead.

Cool Down the Temp - Ever notice how you sleep better in the Spring & Fall? Not too hot, not too cold. So turn down the thermostat a couple degrees & grab an extra blanket instead.

Avoid Caffeine - This should be a no brainer, no caffeine before bed. But ideally it should be no caffeine 4-5 hours before bed.

Skip the Midnight Snack - I know it's tempting, but going after that cookie right before bed will just make you feel all icky. Or maybe that's just me. Hey, you can't have just one cookie! See, vicious cycle in the making.

Do Yoga - Savasana, also known as the corpse pose, is perfect to do before bed. Actually, you can even do it in bed. Lay on your back & concentrate on your breathing. Get that, breathing. Not what you didn't get done that day or everything you have to do the next. Just breathing. It's amazing how much you can relax when you're able to clear your mind.

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