Happy World Sleep Day! Wow, I can’t believe how much easier it has been for me to get more sleep at night, and improve the quality of my sleep since I had made sleep a priority last year. Like you, my issue was not that I lacked the knowledge of how important sleep is for my overall health and wellbeing. Simply knowing that I need between 7-8 hours a night of sleep and that going to sleep at a consistent time every night would protect me from burnout and illness, unfortunately, did not help to increase my ability to change staying up late and often into the wee hours of the morning.
Here is my advice and I hope it becomes easier for you as you try to prioritize your quantity and quality of sleep as well. At My BLH Wellness, we value the benefits of sleep and how it interacts with other healthy habits. We make it a priority to help our clients who engage in our training and coaching programs to also make better sleep happen in their lives!
Dim The Lights In Your Home After Dinner Cleanup
After you turn on the dishwasher in the evening, or after you have finished washing up after dinnertime, dim the lights around your home using dimmer switches, lamps, and/or wall sconces. If there is no need to have the lights on because of the natural light from outside, then after it starts to get dark outside, switch dimmer lights to low, use lamps, and/or wall sconces. This will signal your brain that nighttime is around the corner and that bedtime routines are about to start.
Set A Timer To Turn Off All Screens
After you dim the lights in your home and an hour before the time you want to go to bed set a timer to turn off all screens. “Hey Google set a timer for one hour!” or “Hey Alexa set a timer for 9 pm!” That’s if you want to go to bed at 10 p.m. each night and wake up at 6 a.m. If you have children you want to set this timer based on when you want them to go to bed. It then becomes a house rule for everyone to put all devices away in another room from the bedrooms an hour before bedtime. That means no news, Netflix, laptop, e-reader, phone, and other devices once that timer goes off. Unless it’s a special occasion or movie night which we do in our household on Saturdays.
Have A Bedtime Routine An Hour Before You Want To Sleep
After the timer goes off, start your bedtime routine and rituals. You can give the children their baths or showers, brush and floss their teeth, and into bed for a bedtime story and prayers. After the children fall asleep you start your wind-down routine. You can do a simple skincare routine, brush and floss your teeth, shower, and get into comfortable nightwear. And if you’re like us, Anthony and I try to go to sleep together. It doesn’t have to be sex but connecting in other ways to help us to bond as a couple. For example, you can journal or have a time of devotion together, read a short chapter together, have pillow talks with each other until you fall asleep or it’s the time you want to sleep. Anthony is always the first to fall asleep (insert rolling eyes)!
Turn Off Dimmed Lights In Your Home When You Want To Sleep
Have total darkness at night (not even to turn on the light in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or to the children’s bedroom after they have awoken). It takes about only 7 seconds to suppress our melatonin (a natural sleep hormone released at night). The next time you purchase a bed if you can afford to consider purchasing one with a motion sensor light that turns on under the bed when you step down. You can also use plugin lights in the bedrooms (red or orange) as opposed to blue or bright light bulbs.
Make Your Bed More Welcoming At Night
If you’re going to start to sleep longer hours at night, the recommended 8 hours, that will mean spending one-third of your life in bed ha! In addition to ensuring that the bedrooms are about 16º to 20º C (60º to 68º F), you’ll want to have optimal bedding solutions for everyone in your home. It isn’t just how dark your room is that affects your sleep quality, it’s your bedding that matters too!
Last year we bought Takasa organic and Fairtrade cool and crisp cotton duvet cover and bed sheets for our king-size bed. Their sheets and duvet are the most comfortable bedding fabric we have ever slept in. Takasa has two options: Warm and luxury ideal for in the cooler winter months, and cool and crisp for in the warmer summer months. We purchased cool and crisp because Anthony is a warmer sleeper meaning he doesn’t like the warmth at night and prefers the coolness. I on the other hand need my bed to be warm and comfortable which is why the duvet we bought works perfectly. He can use the sheets and I can pull over the sheets and duvet. Compromise!
If you like warm comfortable bedding then the sateen sheets are their other option. They are woven using a one-yarn-under and three-yarn-over weave. The tighter weave on sateen gives it the feeling of satin (without the expense and fragile nature of satin). It is also more heavyweight than percale, making it ideal for year-round comfort and warmth. Takasa products also come in a variety of colours; White, Natural, Alps, and Grey Melange.
We partnered with Takasa, a company that produces luxury comfortable ethically made 100% organic cotton and Fairtrade Certified bed and bath linens because they are healthier for us, our home, and the environment. Their mindful and sustainable business practices resonate with us. They are GOTS-certified products which means they are free of allergens, carcinogens, and toxic chemical residues that could be harmful to humans. For every purchase, Takasa plants a tree. You can feel good wrapped in Takasa products while feeling good about the impact your choices make on people and the planet alike. As a conscious consumer, you can choose to feel better about the quality and sustainability of the purchases you make. Visit Takasa to learn more and start making your bed more welcoming at night.
We are life partners who turned business partners after having our first child. We started off together living a wellness-centered lifestyle that quickly changed with the addition of a newborn. We know what it is like to put nutrition and eating right, working out/exercise, and other self-care activities at the bottom of our to-do lists. Especially during transitions like starting or growing a family, building a career, or business.