You deserve a good night's sleep. Here's how to (finally) get it
Learn what stretches, snacks and decor will give you the slumber you've always dreamed of.
For many of us, getting some much needed rest can be a struggle after a hectic day. There are lots of products that claim to boost beauty sleep, but in order to actually wind-down when there's so much on our minds, it looks like we may need to reconsider our snacks and, unfortunately, our screen time before bed. And when it comes to the bedroom, obviously, the cozier the better. But with so much info out there, it can be hard to settle on something that actually works. So to help you drift off to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, here are some steps to better rest.
Relax your facial muscles
Here's an easy routine to try before going to bed that can help relax physical tension. Basically, you want to tense some key muscles and then release. You can do this lying down or sitting.
Hold each tension for 5 seconds, pause for 10 seconds and then move on to the next muscle.
Forehead - Raise your eyebrows as high as you can for 5 seconds. Release.
Eyes - Clench your eyelids tight for 5 seconds. Release.
Mouth - Open your mouth wide enough to stretch out your jaw for 5 seconds. Release.
Neck and Shoulders - Raise your shoulder up to touch your ears for 5 seconds. Release.
Prepare your bedroom
Many of us lead busy lives or love social media, so phones or laptops surround us constantly. But it's a good idea to let your bedroom be a refuge from all that background noise for better beauty sleep.
The first step is keeping your phone out of the bedroom. According to the National Sleep Foundation, "delays your body's internal clock (a.k.a., your circadian rhythm), suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and makes it more difficult to fall asleep." This is because of the artificial blue light that's emitted by these devices. Not only do these devices increase your alertness, but they also delay the onset and total amount of REM sleep, which can even affect your alertness in the morning.
Keep it cozy
If you're not sleeping as well as you could be, it may be time to rethink your bedroom design and decor. You don't need to spend a lot of money, you just need to schedule time to do this for yourself. Here are the main three areas to focus on:
Stick to soft and calm colours
When choosing calming colours for the bedroom, look to nature's colour palette. Stick to cooler hues such as grey, blue, green or purple that will help create a relaxing atmosphere. To promote sleep through decor, opt for light-blues, earth tones or soft, muted colours. This rug from Alexanian, linens from AuLit and night stands from Carrocel are perfect examples of a neutral colour palette that will give you a feeling of calm.
Add some texture
Fabric is a great way to add texture, colour and coziness to your room. You can drape a cozy blanket over the bed, or mix and match throw pillows. And don't overlook the floor — try adding a comfy rug. Your rug is the last thing you step on before you jump into bed and first thing you're stepping onto every morning, so you want it to feel nice and comfy under your feet! Rugs come in low to high pile. A high pile rug is taller than 1/4 inches and perfect for incorporating texture and coziness to a space.
Change up the lighting
Multiple sources of lighting in the bedroom are always a good idea. General lighting is the light you get from windows and overhead lighting is perfect for when it's dark outside and you can't rely on the natural light. Bedroom lighting doesn't need to be super bright, so opt for a lower watt bulb and a dimmer. Task lighting is the lighting you'll have on when you're going to bed, and a good table lamp is great for reading or getting yourself ready to settle down for the night.
Get back to basics
Are you a side sleeper, or a stomach sleeper? It turns out, the best sleeping position is on your back. It's the most natural position for your body keep your spine long and aligned. This is the best sleep position if you're a quiet sleeper and not a snorer! If you find that you can't sleep on your back, the next best is on your side. If you do choose to sleep on your side, put a pillow between your legs to avoid twisting your hips and spine out of alignment. Unfortunately, sleeping on your stomach is the worst position. You're twisting your head and neck all night throwing off your alignment. So, if you're a stomach sleeper, try to condition yourself to switch to your back or your side.
Have a bedtime snack
Snackers rejoice! Studies show that eating a snack right before bedtime can definitely increase your chances of a great night's rest. Experts say that carbohydrate-rich snacks may be best, because these foods are likely increase the level of sleep-inducing tryptophan, an essential amino acid, in the blood. Stay away from protein-rich foods though, because they can be harder to digest. Your best — and delicious — bedtime snacks are cereal, toast, a muffin, or something sweeter, like berries, a banana or yogurt. Just be sure to avoid eating a heavy meal within four hours of going to bed, and for optimal sleep, stay away from caffeine after noon.