Unfortunately, the internet is right about sleep.
If you Google healthy sleeping habits you will find that screens, late night snacks, lack of exercise and stress all contribute to the neverending sleep struggles. The sleep struggle is a vicious cycle of being too sluggish to get good habits forming during the day and then not tired enough to get enough shuteye during the night. The body is a fickle monster when an average person is having sleep struggles.
Many people attribute their sleep struggles to mental health issues (me), external stress (me) and their sleep location (me, I hate those fucking birds on my roof). Not getting adequate sleep can take a slightly stressful situation from manageable to crying in a bathroom. Here are my tips for becoming a morning person…or just sucking a little less at mornings.
- No snooze button… I know, I know, it’s the most tempting button in the world but it is HORRIBLE for you. The snooze button let’s your poor sleepy body, who stayed up way too late last night eating Hot Cheetos while googling meal prep ideas for your #healthy life, think that it can get another REM cycle when in reality it just gets a little relaxed and then BOOM GET UP GET UP WE ARE UNDER ATTACK…oh..that’s just the alarm again. Stopping the snooze is hard but not impossible and the best way to stop the snooze is to get enough sleep…vicious cycle.
- To help you stop the snooze the best thing you can do for your body is put it on a bedtime routine. I have established a bedtime routine that consists of drinking hot tea or a Calm packet (magnesium is wonderful as a sleep aid), climbing into bed and turning off screens by 9:30, trying to fit in a meditation with my Calm App and reading until I am sleepy. As a bookworm this can be dangerous so I often set a 30 minute time to make sure I’m checking in with myself by 10pm to see if I’m sleepy. I also like to turn on my sea salt lamp and diffuser with a relaxing scent like eucalyptus or lavender. Making bedtime a cozy time that I look forward to is most of the fun.The toughest part of this comes in the morning…even if I’m awake until 3am panicking about work or listening to the drunk neighbors yell at eachother I always get up around the same time. I never let myself sleep one hour past my normal wake-up time of weekdays or two hours past on weekend. Not oversleeping has helped shake that sluggish feeling that prevented me from waking up for my morning workouts.
- I wake up a lot throughout the night due to noises and changes in light. That’s why I highly recommend buying a sleep mask and some cheap earplugs to keep around.
- Habits throughout the day. I have two strict rules, no caffeine after lunch and no staying stagnant all day. Even if it is just a walk I have to get some form of exercise in to wear myself out. If I stay caged inside all day and don’t at least do a yoga or PIT28 video I struggle to go to sleep at night. An object in motion does not always stay in motion; sometime’s she stops moving and sleeps like a baby instead.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself to get it right the first time or everytime. Some nights my routine and lifestyle changes work perfectly, sometimes I stay up until midnight pondering the meaning of life (literally, what the fuck are we doing here). The important thing is to not stress over the inability to fall asleep…the stress will just keep you up even later. I love using my Calm App when I can’t sleep. I turn on a 35 minute deep sleep meditation and let the app take me the sleepy town.
There are so many ways to create and maintain healthy sleep practices but the most important thing is determination, faith in your body and a little discipline. Having health sleeping habits is just one of the many ways I have learned to prioritize myself and practice self-love and gratitude. Sleep is my way of thanking my body for making it through the day.
What are some of your sleep struggles and how do you combat them?