Updated: Mar 16, 2019
This super cute puppy is super relatable.
We all wake up drowsy, but the worst feeling in the world is when that drowsiness just doesn't go away. You go about your day in a fog, you're irritable, you're irrational, and you just feel completely helpless to stop it. This gets especially bad during the winter for us Midwestern folks because we lose the sun as a major natural source of vitamin D! The good news is that there are so many sleep hygiene practices that you can do to help yourself feel more rested throughout the day (year round)!
1. OPTIMIZE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
We are all unique and nothing proves that like our bedtime preferences. Some of us like a firm mattress, some of us prefer the heat all the way up, and some of us even sleep with socks on! BUT, when it comes to being well-rested, there's a bit of a standard for ideal sleeping conditions:
Keep the room cooler (60-67 degrees Fahrenheit)
Eliminate as much light and noise as possible
Ensure your mattress is comfortable for you, but also supportive.
Check your mattress' life expectancy (~9 to 10 years)
Keep your pillow cases and sheets clean and free of potential allergens
2. STAY ACTIVE DURING THE DAY
The best thing that you can do for your body is get in enough activity (at least 60 minutes each day)! Exercise gives you an energy boost to last you through your day and helps tire you out at the end of it.
3. REALLY RELAX BEFORE BED
Relaxation time should be about 1-2 hours before sleep. During this time, it's important that you focus on non-stimulating activities such as reading (for some), meditation, gentle stretching, drinking a cup of decaf tea, or deep breathing.
4. AVOID ALCOHOL, CIGARETTES, HEAVY MEALS, AND CAFFEINE
This may be obvious to some, but large dinners and substances like alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine can have a really negative affect on the quality of sleep that you get. Try to avoid these things within 4 hours of bedtime... and we recommend avoiding cigarettes all together.
5. RESERVE YOUR BED FOR SLEEP
Your brain is a fickle, fickle thing and it LOVES to make associations. If you're on your phone, laptop, or watching television in bed, your brain tends to associate your bed with being stimulated for media time making it really hard to wind down for sleep. Try to limit these activities to other rooms.
6. RESIST THE URGE TO NAP DURING THE DAY
We totally get that this is probably something that nobody wants to hear. Naps feel GREAT! But they're only a quick fix, and can lead to bigger problems down the line. If you are at your absolute limit and have just bitten your coworker's head off, a quick catnap may seem like the only way to take the edge off. The unfortunate thing is that naps, especially in the afternoon, can hinder your ability to get optimal sleep at night. This will only compound your issue. If you need a quick pick-me-up: drink a cold glass of water or do a few random math problems to wake up your brain!
If you are concerned about yours or your child's sleeping habits, don't hesitate to give us a call or schedule an appointment! Sleep is absolutely vital to life, so don't ever take that slap-happiness too lightly!
Here's some more relatable sleepy animals... 😍