We all have our best days following a good night’s sleep. But those healthy ‘Z’s” can sometimes be elusive especially when we get busy or stressed. Here are a few simple tips to help you get the essential sleep you need that will have you feeling fresh and energized the next day.
Go shopping. Sheets too scratchy? Comforter not heavy enough? It’s important to have bedding and sleepwear that make you comfortable enough to relax. If your pillow gives you a headache because it’s too lumpy, or your nightgown makes you itch, it’s time to replace them. Find sheets that are soft against your skin, a comforter that keeps you warm enough, a pillow that gently cradles your head, and clothing that’s not distracting. (Ask the salesperson which pillow is best for you; different firmness levels are better for different sleep positions.) And remember, you’re not just shopping, you’re investing in your sleep future!
Create the right atmosphere. Temperature, lighting, and noise levels can all affect our sleep patterns. A cooler room is better for sleeping than a warm one, so program your thermostat to switch to a lower setting in the evening. If your bedroom is too light, try blackout curtains or an eye shade. And if you canhear noises that keep you up, try ear plugs or a white-noise device like a fan.
Watch what you eat and drink. Alcohol, tobacco, and heavy meals too close to bedtime can definitely keep you up. So can caffeine, which shouldn’t be consumed after 2 p.m. Try eating a banana before bedtime; bananas contain melatonin, the sleep hormone, as well as tryptophan, an amino acid that’s also found in milk.
Create a soothing routine. The hour or so before bedtime should never be spent in front of the TV or computer. Try sipping a cup of chamomile tea while catching up onyour reading, or use the time for healthy habits like brushing your hair and teeth, washing your face, and getting into your nightclothes at a leisurely pace. Keep up with the routine and your body will eventually come to view it as anighttime ritual that means sleep is on the way.
Try aromatherapy. Several essential oils are proven to help calm the mind and prepare it for sleep, like chamomile, lavender, sandalwood, vetiver, and ylang ylang. Try the 21 Drops “Sleep” Essential Oil Blend that came in the winter Yuzen box. Just roll it generously onto your temples, wrists, and neck, then inhale deeply. You can also dab it onto a tissue and tuck it under your (new, non-lumpy) pillow. Visit www.21drops.com to learn about the other available essential oil blends, including Strength, PMS, Passion, and Invigorate.