When I think of a sleep routine, I think of babies. Little humans thrive on sleep routines. At what point did we assume adults don’t need a sleep routine too? The science is there, adults definitely need a sleep routine to ensure they get the best sleep possible.
If you are anything like me, figuring out a new healthy routine can feel overwhelming. The thing about a sleep routine is it doesn’t need to be fancy. You don’t need lots of new products or gimmicky gadgets. Here are a few easy sleep routine steps that anyone can do right away.
Take a warm shower an hour before bedtime. You don’t have to wash your hair, just get a shower cap and soak in all that warm water. “Your circadian rhythm, which is your sleep-wake cycle, is guided by your body temperature and light,” says sleep specialist Whitney Roban, PhD. “You want your body temperature to decrease in order for melatonin to increase. When you get out of a hot shower, your body temperature is going to drop, and the production of your melatonin is going to increase. And that will help you feel sleepy.”
Keep the lights dim! Avoiding bright light before bedtime will help you maintain a healthy sleep cycle.
Keep your bedroom a sleep only zone, well except for that other thing you can do in the bedroom. You want your bedroom to be a sleeping only zone. Don’t work, eat, or watch shows/movies in bed. When you create this sleeping only boundary, your brain will notice and know when it is time to sleep.
Leave the phone/computer out of the bed! Your eyes need a break away from that nasty blue light. The Blue light loves to interrupt your natural sleep cycle. Read a book instead or do some 4-7-8 breathing exercises to help wind down.
When you start your new sleep routine, just remember to create a space that is calming and consistent. Let me know what is in your sleep routine in the comment section!
If you are concerned about the lack of sleep you are getting, talk to a doctor. It can be dangerous to not get the sleep your mind and body need.
Few things will snap you out of a glorious slumber than the feeling of tiny fingers prying your eyelids open and a small voice uttering “Mommy are you awake?” It’s a moment where your heart melts and you want to commit a crime at the same time. Little does this tiny human know that despite the fact that you are in fact awake (now), that you have already been awake several times throughout the night. Was that a cough? Better go check. What was that sound? Better go check. Is she too hot? Too cold? Better go check? Did I finish my wine? Better go check.
In order to be a mom, or a functioning person for that matter, getting good sleep is totally necessary. And I don’t mean good sleep as in “I got a full 40 minutes, Buddy-the-Elf” style of sleep, I’m talking 8 hours of sleep, the type where you actually haven’t had caffeine since 4 pm, didn’t drink too much wine, and you got off of your screen at a reasonable time before you went to bed. Will the stars ever align for those things to actually happen? Not while Netflix keeps putting out new releases. However, one thing that actual experts agree on is that sleep is crucial to holistic health and for some insane reason, sleep seems to be the one thing we all compromise on, because one more episode won’t hurt, will it?
On my search for this mystical thing called sleep, I wanted to reach out to my friends and co-workers and see if they feel like they are getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep (I had to look up how many hours of sleep we actually need to get) and it is no shock that 99% of them agreed that they sacrifice their sleep because of their addiction to Netflix, video games, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and cat videos on YouTube. Okay, that last one is me. Here’s what the staff ofpillows.com (you know, the “experts”) had to say about their own personal quests for quality sleep.
Question: How many hours of sleep per night do you average?
Jordan: “On average, I sleep 6 hours a night.”
Chelsea: “I try my best to get 8-9 hours. I always make sure that I turn off the lights by 10:30 pm AT THE LATEST!”
Q: What is your ideal sleep environment?
Faydra: “Dark and quiet, squishy supportive pillow for my head and two body pillows for optimal pillow nesting.”
Toni: “Next to the ocean, listening to the waves.”
Q: Would you say you need more sleep?
Omar: “I think I need uninterrupted sleep more than more hours of sleep. I’ve tested it and 6-7 hours seems to be a good number for my body. But, unintentionally, I always seem to drink a lot of water before bed so I sometimes get up multiple times during the night.”
Chelsea: “I think I could invest more time for sleeps on the weekends. I tend to let go of my strict sleep schedule on Saturday nights. However, during the work week’s I’m very good at getting enough sleep.”
Q: Do you think technology gets in the way of your sleep?
Chris: “I do think that technology can get in the way of a normal sleep routine if you are trying to go to sleep at a decent time. Having a phone or laptop near the bed might lead to staying up much later than needed. Although I do have insomnia and sometimes staring at a screen watching a video or reading can make my eyes heavy enough that I am forced to close them long enough to doze off.”
Toni: “Yes! I sleep with the phone by my side and any text or noise letting me know I have a new email wakes me up.”
Q: Do you need white noise to sleep?
Chelsea: “I love white noise and absolutely need it. Sometimes when I can’t go to sleep, I’ll put on a show like “The Office” and fall asleep to the sound of Michael Scott whispering in my ear.”
Q: If you could give yourself one sleep goal to achieve this year what would it be?
Chris: “My one sleep goal for this year is to start meditating again when trying to sleep. Meditation relaxes my very active mind and can sometimes calm it enough to allow me to get some sleep. I used to meditate often before bed, but I have not done it in a while. It has helped before and I am sure that it will help again.”
Dana: “Spend time reading more before bed rather than being on my phone wasting time.”
Q: Do you have bad habits that interfere with your sleep?
Faydra: “Other than video games and my Instagram addiction, I would say no.”
Jordan: “The only bad habits I’d say I have are staying up to catch the last seconds of a TV show/movie and not going to bed at a more reasonable time.”
Can any of you relate to our staff? We all want more sleep but also want to finish that last episode or beat one more level. So, where do we go from here to make sleep a priority in 2018? Of course, my first spot to find all the answers would be Pinterest! Here is a list of 21 tips for better sleep but I have to warn you that I’m pretty sure that #2 is contestable.
We atpillows.com are going to commit to sleeping better together! Wait! You know what I mean! We’re going to hold each other accountable to getting quality sleep. In our own beds, separately. Oh man, I need more sleep.