One of the easiest and most affordable things you can do for your health, is get good quality sleep. But it can be a lot harder for some of us to achieve blissful zzz’s. Whether it’s because we’re still feeling the adrenaline high from a busy day, working late into the evening, catching up on the latest episode (or 5) of our favourite show, or scrolling endlessly through Instagram: sleep can get pushed to the back burner.
But the thing is, sleep affects everything from our mental health, hormones, immune system, appetite, blood pressure, cardiovascular health, energy and cognitive function…just to name a few. So if you’re not already, it’s time to start taking the quality and quantity of your sleep more seriously. Luckily, there are tons of things you can do to get to sleep easily, and get the deep rest your body needs daily. Here are a few of my favourite things that help me get the most out of my sleep:
1. No screens in the bedroom: Seriously though, this one is important. Taking screens out of your bedroom helps make it a sanctuary for rest and relaxation. Keep your phone, computer, tablet and TV in another room…that way when you go to your bedroom, you know it’s time to sleep!
2. Avoid using electronics 1-2 hours before bed: Going off the last point, reducing the amount of screen time right before bed can be super helpful with getting you to sleep quicker. The blue light emitted from screens throws off our bodies natural circadian rhythm and can actually increase our attention and alertness, which isn’t really ideal right before you try to get some shuteye.
3. Ditch your afternoon caffeine fix: This one is pretty obvious to me…caffeine can be good in the morning, but should probably be avoided in the afternoon. Caffeine stays in your system for a pretty long time, so it’s best to stop drinking it at least 6 hours before you go to sleep. Try replacing your afternoon latte with an herbal replacement like Dandy Blend!
4. Create a sleep ritual: This one’s definitely my favourite. Those 1-2 hours before bed where you turn off screens, is when you can dedicate your time to winding down from the day. Think warm baths, skin care routine, herbal tea, journaling, light stretching and reading. Whatever makes you feel all warm and cozy inside.
Julia Gibson is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, functional foods recipe developer, and writer currently based in Toronto. She hopes to inspire and empower others by creating nourishing foods, living a sustainable life, promoting holistic healing and sharing thoughtful writing.