Tossing. Turning. Hopelessly staring at the clock. Sound familiar?
No one likes insomnia. Left unchecked, it can lead to depression, anxiety, and poor health overall. With our busy, over-packed schedules, more and more of us are falling victim to sleep pressure and anxiety. So what’s an exhausted, sleep-deprived person to do?
Here are five tried and true ways to switch your brain over to sleep mode, stat:
Log your 60 minutes of exercise
Working out isn’t just important for a healthy heart and fit lungs. When your body gets an adequate amount of exercise, it functions better in all ways—including sleep. If you’re crunched for time, a quick jaunt around the neighborhood (bonus, fresh air!) is still beneficial. While aiming for 60 minutes per day is the ultimate goal, every little bit helps.
Turn off electronics
Listen, we get it: it’s nice to unwind after a long day by zoning out in front of the tube. And who doesn’t like to catch up on social media before bed? But the blue lights emitted from electronics actually have a negative impact on falling asleep, so you should put electronics away at least 30 minutes before trying to crash for the night. Our favorite way to drift off? Low lights, a cozy bed, and a really good book.
Upgrade your bedding
Speaking of a cozy bed, perhaps you’re due for an upgrade. An itchy thread count, wrinkled untucked sheets, and an old, broken-down mattress isn’t going to do anything good for your sleep cycle. Invest in some excellent cotton or bamboo sheets for a fresh, clean feeling every night. As for a new mattress? Go with an eco-friendly, memory foam bamboo mattress that not only has natural breathability, but repels odor and unwanted dust-mites and is insanely comfortable to boot.
Yoga and Meditation
Ever try a calming bedtime yoga routine, followed by a short meditation? It’s one of our ultimate tricks for nodding off. Try yin yoga, a form of yoga that’s soothing and slow-paced. Not sure where to start with meditation? Try just breathing. Anxiety is often the culprit for keeping us awake at night, and breathing exercises work to combat this. One we love: place one finger over left nostril and breath in and out five times, slowly. Switch to right nostril and repeat. Focus on just your breath. You’ll be forgetting your to-do lists and drifting off into dreamland in no time.
Up Your Magnesium
Perhaps the biggest kept secret for quality sleep: magnesium. A lack of magnesium causes everything from migraines to anxiety to, you got it, insomnia. One of the most effective ways to up your intake? Epsom Salt baths. (If you don’t have a bathtub, you’ll still reap the benefits from a simple foot soak.)