We can all agree nothing beats a good night’s sleep. While sleep is something we all need and probably could get more of, it’s not always that simple. I mean, hasn’t everyone had a night of tossing and turning just to look at the clock and see hours have gone by without any real shut-eye? At Parachute, we take our sleep very seriously, so here are eight tips to help you achieve a great night’s sleep.
Create a Sleep Ritual
Allow yourself to have time before bed to relax and wind down with a pre-bedtime routine to alert your body that sleep is near. Setting a bedtime for yourself may sound juvenile, but a schedule can help your body understand when it should naturally start winding down. And, it can help reset your circadian rhythm to a proper sleep-wake cycle that promotes restorative sleep and will increase daytime productivity.
Turn it Off
We have all gotten into the habit of binging our favorite shows or mindlessly scrolling through social media before bed. As much as some of us may not want to hear it, one of the best things you can do before bed is to turn off all devices an hour before it’s time to snooze. A perfect alternative is reading a book, meditating, or journaling.
We’re not saying you need to go to the gym every single day, but getting your body moving with things like walks throughout the day is crucial. Exercise helps you sleep by boosting natural hormones like melatonin. However, exercising too close to bedtime can be more stimulating and have an adverse effect. A reasonable boundary to set is exercising more than 2-3 hours before you want to get in bed.
Put Down the Caffeine
Drinking any caffeine late into the afternoon may seem beneficial at the moment, but it can stay in your system and keep you up at night. A cup of coffee to get through the last hours of the working day could feel like a necessity, but if you need something for that extra kick try drinking a low-caffeine tea that won’t impact you later in the evening. Hopefully, you’ll have more energy during the day without the added pick me up with your new sleep schedule.
Reserve Your Bed for Sleep
It can be challenging to create a boundary between you and your bed, especially if you work from home. It is essential that your bed remains a sacred sleep space to cue your brain that there is only one purpose when you are in it. Our article about creating an ideal work from home space has even more helpful tips on creating boundaries in your home.
Write it Down
Suppose you are someone that finds yourself in bed with a million thoughts going through your head and obsessing over trivial things – that’s okay. Try keeping a journal next to your bed to write down your thoughts and create to-do lists, that way you can develop plans and have a moment of introspection without added screen time. Try adding this to your bedtime routine so you can get your thoughts onto paper before your head hits the pillow.
Make Your Bedroom Comfortable and Dark
One of the most important things is making sure you have a comfortable bed that you are excited to get into. Ensure your mattress and pillows are comfortable to ensure a night of deep, restful sleep – the Eco-Comfort Mattress and Down Pillows are some of our favorites. Additionally, exposure to light can affect how you sleep, and blackout curtains can help remedy this.
Watch What You Eat
You shouldn’t go to bed hungry, but a big meal close to bedtime can affect your sleep because your body has to devote energy to multiple things at once – digesting your meal and putting you to sleep. In addition, certain foods such as chocolate, which has caffeine in it, or spicy foods are more difficult to digest and can keep you up before bed. Try eating dinner around 2-3 hours before bed, grab a lighter snack that will keep you full without impacting your sleep.