Wellness Tip: Improve Your Sleep Health, Improve Your Wellbeing
On my busiest days, I am often guilty of trying to fit more in by pushing my bedtime later. With Sleep Awareness Month upon us, I’m making what might be the easiest change to support my wellbeing… going to bed early!
With Daylight Saving Time beginning on Sunday, March 13th, we’re all more vulnerable to disrupted sleep routines as we spring the clocks forward an hour.
Getting enough sleep, especially deep, restorative sleep is so important to our overall wellbeing, including both physical and mental health. With all that our bodies do for us in a day, we need to give them time to recharge overnight. In addition, our bodies and minds complete important functions during sleep and need enough time to complete those essential processes.
Join us in implementing some of the ideas below to minimize the side effects of Daylight Saving Time and improve your sleep habits:
1.Create an evening wind-down routine: Drink a cup of hot tea, read a book, meditate or listen to a podcast. Find something that helps you transition out of the day and into a restful state for bedtime so that you aren’t adding to your to do list as you try to fall asleep.
2.Get more sunlight! I just learned this trick as a new mom. Exposure to natural light during the day helps us regulate our circadian rhythm.
3.Upgrade your sleep setup. A new pillow, some lavender room mist, or an upgraded fabric for your sheets or sleepwear can make a world of difference! Sound machines are a great item to encourage uninterrupted sleep, along with blackout curtains. If you don’t mind staying nice and toasty, I am a huge fan of weighted blankets.
4.Eat dinner early and avoid caffeine late in the afternoon. Set yourself up for success by giving yourself enough time to digest your meal and avoid a burst of energy heading into the evening.
5.Reduce your PM screentime – Take advantage of options to block or reduce blue light if you absolutely must be on your phone or tablet before bed.
6.Gradually adjust your schedule for daylight savings time. Make a gradual 15-minute adjustment in the days leading up to Daylight Saving Time to avoid a system shock when the clocks move forward.
To learn about the importance of sleep health and the science behind it, visit SleepFoundation.org.
Pro Tip: Exercise can help with more than maintaining a healthy body and mind. It can also help you wind down in the evening and prepare for sleep. Get up and get moving, so you can lay down and sleep later!
By: Lorelai Mentzer, Senior Marketing Analyst – Employee Benefits