Sleep is one of the most important and least respected health habits that a person can engage with. People don't sleep enough and they try to caffinate themselves in order to get through the day, which usually means they don't get enough sleep again, and the cycle continues.
Well, our bodies need sleep. Underslept brains lose focus, have problems with memory and retention, and can even increase the risk of disease. To get the sleep our body needs, we need to practice healthy sleep hygiene habits. Here are six tips to help you get the rest your body craves.
1) Get some exercise
Most of us struggle to fit exercise into our busy lives, and this can be exacerbated by fatigue. So the best first habit is to get your body moving first in the morning. It doesn't need to be a full trip to the gym, either. Just go out for a walk, do some stretches, knock out some push-ups, or settle into some simple yoga poses.
Aside from the regular health benefits, exercise can keep you sharp and alert in a more natural way than coffee, which will just delay a later crash.
2) Meditation and self-awareness
Centering oneself and practicing awareness meditation is a great way to get started in the day. It is important to practice sitting up though, otherwise you may fall back to sleep!
3) Get to Work!
Many people, myself included, have rising energy. They get their best work done as their mornings start and their energy is at their highest. I'm a big believer that I can change my entire life so long as its before noon. So why not get started early? It will get your brain going and help you start building good sleep habits.
4) Start learning a new subject or practicing a new skill
Brains are spongy things and are more receptive earlier in the day, especially when you're practicing a new skill or picking up a new hobby. So spend some time tinkering with a new hobby or learning a new language or something.
5) Plan your day
The surest cure for slipping into laziness or self indulgence is to plan your day and then work your plan. Set a schedule and stick to it. Organize your day and it will be easier to guide your way through it.
6) Make your bed
Making a crisp bed is a tried and true way to delineate the time between when you're laying in bed and when you're up and out of it. Psychologists treating people with depression recommend that patients make their bed because it will motivate them to get out of it.
It also helps the mind by doing small things. As one admiral William H. McRaven put it, “if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
Bonus: Nighttime sleep hygiene
Good morning habits don't mean anything if you're staying up until 3AM every night.
1) Go to bed at roughly the same time each night.
2) Don't drink too much alcohol. The body will start burning energy to process the excess, which will keep you up.3) No sodas or caffinated beverages after lunch.
4) Keep the room cool.
5) No screens the last hour before bed.