#wellnessathome: 3 simple changes that will help you fall asleep quicker tonight
Your toddler had you awake long before it was actually morning.
You've been chasing deadlines or trying to get to the bottom of your to-do list all day. Then it was dinner and the house is an absolute kip and the kids are climbing the wall because, well, pandemic lockdowns, and really, mama, come bedtime, you are so freakin' exhausted you can barely keep your eyes open.
But then you go to bed and find that you can't wind down and go asleep because you're already dreading what time the kids will wake you tomorrow and trying to figure out the logistics of working from home tomorrow again and yet more indoor crafts and gosh, is that a crack in the wall on the landing and on and on and on it goes and before you know it, it is way past might night before you finally get some rest.
Time for a change, mama.
And sure look; none of us can do anything about kids that wake up at ungodly hours (if only!), but what we can do, it try to put a whole lot of other factors into place to ensure a peaceful night's sleep.
To kick off a healthier and happier sleep routine, try these:
1. Upgrade your bedlinens
Nothing feels as amazing as going to bed in fresh, clean, ironed bedlinens. And as we spent roughly one third of our lives in bed, surely it makes sense to splurge on quality sheets, no? Opt for natural materials, like cotton or linens, and buy organic if you can.
Cotton is one of the worst offenders when it comes to using harmful chemicals on the crops, and all these particles will still linger on bed linens (and clothing). If you opt for organic cotton, you are not only treating your skin and the environment better, you are also making the lives of the farmers who grow cotton better and healthier too – it's a win-win.
I always find I sleep better in all-white bed linens, not only because it makes my bed look all luxurious and chic, like in a hotel, but just because colours and pattern aren't as soothing and calming.
As for what to buy, I am obsessed with Irish brand White & Green, and their beautiful and 100 percent organic and fair trade products. Seriously; try ordering one of their sheets or set of bed linens, and you will never look back, trust me.
2. Scale back on the technology
Your late-night Netflix habit and keeping your phone on your nightstand may not seem like a big deal, but technology affects your sleep in more ways than you realize.
The blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. Reducing melatonin makes it harder to fall and stay asleep.
What this means, is that you should really be avoiding all types of technology for at least the last 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
3. Mediate for a minute (or two)
According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, mindfulness mediation—focusing on the moment, thoughts, and emotions—can actually help fight insomnia and improve sleep.
By practising relaxing, whenever you do it, you learn how to let go of the stresses of the day. Think of it like exercising a muscle that gets stronger over time.
In fact, meditation, the practice of intentionally quieting or focusing the mind, creates physiological changes that are similar to those that happen in your body during the early phases of sleep. Your pulse slows, blood pressure drops, and stress hormones decrease. Being able to get to that state on demand means that you’ll have an easier time drifting off when you want to.