How do you react when your alarm clock goes off in the morning?
When that loud startling sound blares through your clock’s speakers one of three scenarios may come in to play. In the first scenario you think to yourself “It can’t be time to wake up, I just fell asleep.” The second scenario may sound something like this “Noooooooo! I don’t want to get up!! I need more time to sleep!!!” In the third scenario you are just hitting the snooze button several times before getting out of bed 30 minutes later.
If getting up in the morning for you sounds like any one of these scenarios, it is a good indicator that you are not getting enough sleep. Whether it’s going to bed too late or waking up several times during the night, lack of sleep affects us in many ways. It can put you at risk for getting sick, depression, weight gain, forgetfulness and aging of the skin just to name a few.
There are many ways you can try to improve the quality of your sleep to wake up bright-eyed and bushy-every morning. Here are some you can follow.
1. Make your bedroom completely dark and eliminate any source of light
Your body is able to detect light even when your eyes are closed so you want to keep your bedroom as dark as possible. Cover or turn off any devices in your bedroom that emit a bright light. Install blackout curtains in your bedroom to block out any outside light that comes through the window shades.
2. Limit the use of electronic devices before bed
When we are exposed to the light from electronic devices, it delays the release of the sleep inducing hormone melatonin and tells our brains to stay awake. Turn off your electronic devices 1-2 hours prior to going to sleep and store them in another room. Also, try not to think of anything that will stress you out and allow yourself to wind down and prepare for sleep.
3. Keep your bedroom cool
Having a cooler body temperature helps you to fall asleep whereas a warmer body temperature will prevent you from falling and staying asleep, especially if you are sweating. The temperature in the bedroom should be somewhere between 60-68 degrees. Have a fan running while you sleep since it ventilates the room while cooling it down.
4. Avoid taking naps
Napping during the day may be restful but it disrupts your internal clock preventing you from falling asleep at your normal bedtime. If you are tired during the day try to avoid taking a nap and go to bed a little earlier. If you can’t, then limit your naps to no more than 30 minutes in the early afternoon so you can still fall asleep at night.
5. Stop drinking liquids close to bedtime
Waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom is not fun when you are enjoying a deep sleep. Eliminate drinking liquids two hours before going to sleep and use the bathroom before winding down. This will help you sleep through the night and stop those 3 am trips to the bathroom.