The ABCs of Better Zzzzzzs

Abigail Blank - The Upside Blog |

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Are you a terrible sleeper? Do you stay up late working, or worse yet, worrying? Sleep isn’t just a good habit. It’s important for your overall health. Now, don’t come back at me with any of that mess about how you’re fine on five hours or any other nonsense. Sleep is important to repair your cells, recharge your brain and rebuild your muscles. When you deprive yourself of the necessary hours, you are not putting your best self out there each day. So today, I’ve got four tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

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1. Unwind

You need a bedtime ritual, one that signals to your brain that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Try a hot cup of Yogi Bedtime Tea or Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Herbal Tea. If tea isn’t your thing, try a 10-minute cool down yoga stretch to loosen all the kinks and crinkles in your muscles from a hard day’s work.

2. Avoid Stimulants

Caffeine stimulates your nervous system for much longer than the initial jolt you feel. The only reason you feel like you need another cup of coffee the next morning is because you’re system is going through caffeine withdrawal. Try to keep your caffeine intake (coffee, tea, soda, etc) at a minimum. Sugar is a sleep-stealer as well. That yummy slice of chocolate cake isn’t just a sweet indulgence, the spike in your blood sugar will make you feel antsy and energetic. To avoid this at bedtime, have your sweet treats earlier in the day. I say eat dessert first thing in the morning! I’m kidding, kind of.

3. Supplement your system

Melatonin has long been considered helpful for healthy sleep. A naturally occurring hormone secreted by the pineal gland when the body is submersed in darkness, our bodies produce less and less of it as we age. Natrol makes melatonin in a variety of forms, including slow release tablets and liquid.

 4.  Embrace the Darkness

Make sure you’ve turned off every light, including your bathroom light, closet light, and the light in the hallway. All of these little slivers of light rob you of the complete darkness that enables your body to go into a full, deep sleep. If your kids, like mine, absolutely insist on having the hall light on, or your husband likes to leave the bathroom light on “just in case,” then grab yourself a nice sleep mask. Earth Therapeutics makes a great terry covered sleep mask  that will ease you into a good night’s sleep. If that’s not enough, break out the big guns with the Bucky Eye Shades with Ear Plugs.