Our time at home has greatly increased lately, right? This is not the time to shrug off healthy living practices. One key health practice is getting enough sleep (not too little and not too much). When it comes to not getting enough sleep, busy schedules and stress are typically the culprits. Funny enough, though, a lack of sleep contributes to the unhealthy cycle that keeps us stressed and behind on our work.
So how do we break the awful stress cycle and get the 7-9 hours of sleep our bodies need?
Set a Bedtime Alarm
It’s easy to forget about the clock while streaming another episode of your favorite show or trying to get ahead on a project, so set a nighttime alarm as a reminder. Having a routine bedtime adds structure to our days. This structure prevents each day from blending into the next and helps us maintain a positive and productive outlook
Spend 15 minutes to Prep for Tomorrow
A restless mind is not a restful mind. Dwelling on the minutiae of the morning could keep you awake. Knock out a few chores the night before and don’t forget to make a to-do list. There are tasks you need to complete, and you’ll likely forget about them by morning. Jotting down a to-do list gets it off your mind so you can rest easy.
Address the Stress
Practicing mindfulness has proven to reduce stress, improve sleep quality and can even help with insomnia. Meditation puts you in the perfect mindset to drift off to dreamland. Journaling is another simple way to quiet your mind by getting your thoughts and feelings down on paper. Go analog and get yourself an inspiring journal to write in to avoid all the distractions on your computer.
Wind Down to Drift off
Reading before bed is an excellent way to relax the brain and fall asleep. Avoid bright screens at bedtime. The bright light of a TV, computer or smartphone can affect your sleep patterns and keep you alert when you should be getting sleepy. Leave the electronics and social media behind.
If You Still Can’t get to Sleep…
Don’t lie in bed tossing and turning if you can’t fall asleep. It’s better to get up and reset. Try some of the activities above for a short time before getting back to bed. Ten minutes of meditation or reading might save you hours of staring at the ceiling.
The Metrolink team wants to remind riders that they can improve their health and reduce their chance of contracting COVID-19 by getting enough sleep. Stay healthy, everyone!