Sleep is more than a necessity. It’s food for the soul, our time to heal both physically and psychologically, and our time to replenish the energy we’ll inevitably need for the next round of everyday challenges. Right next to nutrition and regular physical activity, sleep is the pillar of wellbeing that we cannot afford to neglect. By the time I’ve noticed the first dark circles under my eyes, I was already several months into a chaotic routine of self-neglect.
Whether you’ve already spotted those telltale signs of exhaustion, or you’ve merely become mindful of your need to sleep better, the following few tips should help you rid your lifestyle of several of the most harmful habits that wreak havoc on your sleep. As a result, your downtime will bring you a bright gaze, more energy than ever before, and of course, it will become the foundation of your beauty and self-care.
Too much screen time before bed
All of us are guilty of it. We spend hours every day on our phones, no matter if it’s for work or getting in touch with our loved ones. In the evening, when there are no more meetings to rush to, you feel like you can finally relax, check out your Instagram feed, or watch a movie before you go to bed. Alas, your brain won’t “unplug” the moment you do, which means it will be virtually impossible to fall asleep when you do ditch your digital devices.
The best course of action is to teach yourself to unplug and leave your gadgets behind at least an hour or two before bed. That way, you’ll give your brain and your eyes enough time to focus on less intrusive activities such as reading or enjoying a bubble bath, which will actually help you sleep better.
Lack of exercise
Not everyone is a born fitness freak, but you should definitely try to find an activity that will make you happy, because your sleep patterns will thank you for it. Ample exercise gives you several main perks for your sleep and your beauty. For starters, it balances your energy so that you’re rested during the day while your body prepares to unwind in the evening, making it easier to fall asleep.
Then, exercise helps all those nutritious goodies you’ve consumed during the day get absorbed better, which will in turn improve your energy levels, your immune system, and your skin health. Finally, exercise balances your hormones and thus reduces stress levels, which is one of the simplest ways to get plenty of restful sleep every night!
An uncomfortable bedroom
Sometimes the most obvious solution is the very last one we ever think of, which is often the case with how we arrange our bedrooms to suit its key purpose – optimal sleep. Most of us don’t pick the most comfortable or skin-friendly bedding, while a mattress can either provide you with comfort and support or completely wreck your sleep habits.
For example, some of the best mattresses out there are designed to give you the best of both worlds: the perks of memory foam with that comfortable feel of a regular mattress. They are made to provide ample support for your spine, and add the right cotton or satin bedding, and you have the ideal sleep-inducing blend.
Exposure to excessive stress
Let’s face it, we cannot really escape stress completely, since it comes from a wide variety of sources. There is such a thing, however, as too much stress, and not becoming resilient to it can cost you sleep.
Make sure that de-stressing becomes a part of your self-care routine, and you can choose from so many different ways to banish stress. Meditation in the evening helps you refocus your thoughts on positive mantras, whereas I’ve discovered that simple breathing exercises can do wonders for unclenching my jaw and relaxing my brow. A little relaxation can go a long way for your quality of sleep.
Caffeine intake before bed
We all love a strong cup of java waiting for us after a long day of work. It’s not just about the delicious taste, but about that kick of energy you build up so that you can find some vigor for family time, reading, or your favorite Netflix binge. However, while caffeine doesn’t actually elevate your energy, it stifles the feeling of tiredness instead, consuming it right before bed can prevent you from falling asleep without issues and can even cause a sleep bruxism.
Add to that, caffeine can also affect the amount of deep sleep you can have per night, and your body will need at least a few hours to process this substance, making it impossible for you to rest. So, why not replace coffee in the evening with a cup of herbal tea without caffeine? Chamomile or mint are good options, but you can always go for a fruit mix, too.
Much like you’d never leap into a brand-new exercise routine without doing your research, you should take your time to explore various options that will lead to quality sleep and a consistent sleep schedule. You’re officially ready to arm yourself with the knowledge that will help you slowly restructure your daily routine and make more time for simple habits to improve your sleep quality. Ultimately, these habits will also help you lead a healthier life, feel better in your own skin, and your pores will reflect all of the changes you’ve made towards your wellbeing.