As we jump into spring with longer days and more sunshine, we often find ourselves pushing farther away from our regular sleeping hours. I always find that while I enjoy more hours of daylight, I have a much easier time slowing down before bed when it gets dark earlier. This got us thinking about some great ways to de-stress before bed!
- Avoid That Afternoon Caffeine Boost. We are all too familiar with the 3pm lull that leaves you demanding that late afternoon cup of Joe. While it may provide you with a short boost, it can also hinder your efforts to slow down before bed. Instead switch that afternoon pick-me up for an energy packed snack of apples and peanut butter or hummus and veggies.
- Exercise During the Day. Keeping your body active will help it to better relax before bed. Start with 20-30 minutes each day of walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, dancing, or weight lifting.
- Turn off Electronics. Watching TV, catching up on the computer, or getting in those last minute cell-phone checks can have a negative affect on your ability to relax. In particular, staring at a small bright screen in the dark can disrupt the secretion of melatonin, which regulates our sleep cycle. Ensure you have a clear break between using technological devices and going to bed.
- Deep Belly Breathing. Once settled into bed, take 5-10 full, deep belly breaths and focus on relaxing your body and mind. Place one hand on your belly and work to raise your belly as you inhale, and push it down as you exhale. This not only works to relax you before bed, but also provides additional benefits of increasing your lung capacity.
- Keep Your Bedroom Cool. We have all experienced those nights where you are so hot or cold you can’t possibly fall asleep. Keep your bedroom at a reasonable temperature that works for you. According to Sleep Number, the ideal sleeping temperature is 65-67 degrees!
- See A Chiropractor. Chronic stress causes muscle tension and contraction that leads to uneven pressure on the skeletal and nervous system. Over time that muscle imbalance leads to subluxations in the spine. Adjustments target these areas reducing this muscle tension and contraction and restoring function to the skeletal and nervous system. Adjustments help the body to feel at ease and in balance allowing for a better night’s sleep!
Many studies stress the importance of a regular sleep schedule throughout the year and the benefits you will receive from maintaining those snooze hours. Start working today to provide your body with the benefits of a full night’s sleep.