Sleep is one of my favorite things in the world, something I'm sure many of you can relate to! Not only is it the best way for you to relax and reenergize, but it's also critical for so many physiological processes - managing your immune system, processing memories, healing and repairing tissues, managing weight, and so much more. It can be really frustrating when you go to bed and are unable to fall asleep, so what I've done here is share my top 5 tips for falling asleep quickly and staying asleep. I hope it helps!
My top 5 tips to help you fall asleep quickly:
Switch all technology off for an hour before going to bed - that means no watching TV, checking social media, emails, anything (sorry to my fellow college students who are addicted to Netflix and youtube)! The light emitted from the screens of tech devices is called blue light, and research has shown that exposure to it will actually decrease your melatonin (sleep hormone) production, thereby making it harder to fall asleep. Dimming the lights in your home an hour before going to bed will also promote melatonin production.
Have a cup of hot herbal tea... especially chamomile-Some teas have properties that help you fall asleep, particularly chamomile and lavender. Just make sure to avoid any teas with caffeine after about 4 pm in order to increase your chances at getting a better night's rest. Read my Health Benefits of Tea post to learn more about the various properties of different types of tea.
Exercise regularly - Our bodies were made to move, and not allowing them to do so will result in a feeling of restlessness around bedtime. For the best results, save running and other intense cardio exercises for the morning or early afternoon, and try calming exercises such as yoga or walking in the evening.
Take a warm bath with lavender essential oil- I am a huge believer in aromatherapy, and lavender is known to help your body relax and ease muscle tension. The warm water will also slightly increase your body temperature, and when you get out of the water the temperature will go back down, mimicking what your body naturally does as it prepares for sleep.
Practice deep-belly breathing- Deep, slow breathing will stimulate your parasympathetic system, which is in charge of helping you relax.
As a busy college student, I am well aware of the fact that it can be hard to follow a normal sleep schedule, but it's super important that you do! Adults should aim for a MINIMUM of 7 hours of sleep per night, but 8 or 9 is best. I know from personal experience that not getting a full 8 hours of sleep every night really takes a toll on my energy levels and stress management (aka the last two weeks of midterms). But as a side note to other students, I know it can be tempting to pull an all-nighter before an exam so that you can study more, but research shows it is actually better to still get the 8 hours of sleep because as I mentioned before, sleep is the time in which your brain processes information and integrates it into long term memory. So get your beauty sleep!!!
I hope this information is helpful, and please comment below if you have any thoughts or questions!