Sometimes it is hard for me to completely shut off my brain when it’s bedtime. I look at the clock and its 11pm. My gut tells me it’s time for a little shut eye – especially for the busy work day tomorrow. But, my brain keeps on thinking and processing the day and week ahead.
Studies find that 40 percent of Americans are severely deprived of sleep! Yikes – that is a lot of sleepy people. Sleeping more not only is healthy for you, it also aids in your mood throughout the day! Here a few things that help me ‘hit the hay’ at night.
1. Steer Clear of Electronics Before Bedtime
It is important to disconnect the day – and ignore electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Not only is this a healthy move for you (glaring screens directly influence the body’s circadian rhythm – the intrinsic 24 hour clock you naturally function on) – it’s also a very symbolic move. Shut off the day. You can play that mindless game or check your late night e-mails in the morning. Journal instead – write down some thoughts. Or pick up a book – read a chapter a night.
2. Spray Your Pillow With Lavender
A Wall Street Journal Report notes, “Lavender is a flowering plant in the mint family. Its aroma has been shown in human studies ‘to slow down heart rate, slow blood pressure and put you in a parasympathetic state, which is a relaxed state.’” So invest in some lavender products. I like the sprays from Bath and Body Works – just lightly splash your pillow with this rich fragrance. It will help your stress levels and help you sleep well.
3. Wear an Eye Mask
You may think it looks stupid, but an eye mask is a must for me at night. The city lights outside the windows always seem to peep in – and hinder my sleep. When your brain senses pure darkness, it causes the production of melatonin, the chemical of sleep. Just try it. I promise you will sleep sounder. You can even glam up your night’s sleep with some cute eye mask patterns!