Just about everything you read regarding ways to improve your mental health advocate the importance of sleep. Sleep is when your body restores itself.
When you are deprived of it, you’re much more likely to make mistakes, be forgetful or worse. I know my fuse is short when I’m tired.
What about too much sleep? This can lead to diabetes, depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and early death. Pretty scary!
For most healthy adults, 7-9 hours of sleep is ideal. As you age, that number goes up.
Here are my top 5 hacks to getting good quality sleep.
It doesn’t have to be CrossFit or even aerobic. Moving your body creates a state of wakefulness during the day and improves sleep at night. Try yoga or walking outside.
2. Eat a Light Dinner
We have gotten used to having a light breakfast, a larger lunch then a large dinner. But it should be the reverse. A large meal at night causes your body to stay awake as it works to digest food.
3. Eat More Fruits & Vegetables
So much of what we eat is processed food, artificial ingredients, and high sugar and sodium. Unfortunately, these types of foods lead to waking up groggy. Fruits and veggies help you stay consistently awake. And raw is even better!
4. Have a Morning Routine
This gives you something to look forward to and a sense of continuity. It could be as simple as hot tea, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast. Routine becomes habit.
5. Go to Bed Only When Sleepy
If you go strictly by the clock, you could end up tossing and turning. Listen to your body. If you’re fully awake even though it’s “bedtime”, do something relaxing. Read a book. Listen to soothing music. Dim the lights.
And as if it weren’t obvious, sleep experts advise for you to leave your smartphone on the nightstand. Or even better, in the kitchen.