Post Updated on December 27, 2019
Thank you to the Better Sleep Council for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Sleep is something we all complain that we need more of. I’m guilty of using the “I’m tired” line whenever someone asks me how I am. To be honest, we’re all tired and most of us are tired of being tired all the time.
We all know how important sleep is for our health. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night has its benefits, including helping you maintain a healthy weight, feel energized, and concentrate more easily.
The trouble is that even when you know the importance of sleep, it’s a struggle to actually make it happen. When you have a busy schedule, sleep often gets pushed to the bottom of the priorities list.
How many times have you woken up in the morning and thought, “I can’t wait to get home and go to bed early tonight”? But when the evening comes around, you stay up late once again to finish work, watch another episode of New Girl, and literally do anything else except lay your head down to sleep.
It’s easy to forget that sleep is a critical element of a successful self-care practice, and it’s one element of self-care that I don’t prioritize enough.
Today, I want to share why I’m prioritizing sleep this month, as well as how you can get more sleep this month too. After all, it feels so good to tell people you actually got a full 8 hours of sleep last night, doesn’t it?
Why I’m Prioritizing Sleep This Month
When it comes to getting enough sleep, my biggest downfall is turning my mind off at night. I always have ideas pop into my head as soon as I want to start unwinding for bed. Instead of writing these ideas down somewhere, my instinct is to get started on them right away. Even though my goal was to turn the lights off at 10:30, it ends up being midnight before I get to bed.
I always notice that not getting enough sleep affects my mood, ability to be productive, and appetite. If I’m overly tired, I won’t have the motivation to do anything. I also tend to binge on junk food which only makes me feel worse.
The consequences of not getting enough sleep obviously affect us on a daily level, but the long-term effects of sleep deprivation on our overall health are ones I want to avoid at all costs.
There are so many reasons we don’t get enough sleep at night, which is why I’ve teamed up with the Better Sleep Council (BSC) to see if I can be #BetterInBed this month. I LOVE this campaign name – so smart and funny.
The Better Sleep Council is a nonprofit organization devoted to informing the public about the critical relationship between sleep, good health and quality of life.
Since May is Better Sleep Month, I’m challenging myself to get better at turning my mind off at night so that I can get a full 8 hours of sleep. Here’s my plan:
- Turn off and put away electronics (laptop & phone) by 10pm
- Write down all of my ideas, thoughts, and to-dos in a notebook by my bed to work on later (instead of right that second)
- Read until 10:30 then turn the lights off
5 Simple Ways To Get More Sleep This Month
If you’ve been trying to get to bed earlier for years, take the Better in Bed challenge with me! Think of small tweaks you could make to your current habits to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Of course, there are so many ways that you can get better in bed. Here are just a few ideas:
A study found that engaging in simple, daily yoga classes improved sleep for participants who struggled with insomnia. Even just squeezing in a few stretches before bed can make a difference. Here are some yoga poses to help you relax.
Follow A Night Routine
By following a similar routine each night, you give mind and body plenty of time to unwind and relax. If you need ideas for a night routine, check out this post.
Invest In Comfy Pajamas
You don’t want to feel restricted while you’re sleeping, so make sure you’re wearing non-synthetic and breathable materials. These will give you more room to move around with ease while you’re sleeping.
Avoid Bright Lights In The Evening
Bright lights suppress melatonin production and make falling asleep more difficult. Try turning on a lamp or dimming the lights before you’re ready to go to bed.
Declutter Your Space
Your environment impacts your ability to fall and stay asleep, so clean up and put things away before going to bed. Here are 7 ways to create a peaceful space around you.
Take the challenge
If you want to get involved in Better Sleep Month this May, here’s how the Better Sleep Council will be your personal sleep wingman:
- Get daily tips and inspiration through posts on the BSC’s Facebook and Twitter channels, featuring BSC consultant, R.N. and certified sleep educator Terry Cralle’s “31 Ways to Be Better in Bed!”
- Read weekly posts on the BSC’s blog, featuring sleep-related content from lifestyle expert and BSC spokesperson Lissa Coffey.
- Take the Better Bed Quizzz to see how you measure up.
At the end of this month, I’ll be recapping my sleep journey and sharing any changes I’ve noticed in my health. I’d love for you to take the challenge too and make sleep a priority in your life!