There’s no denying it: High-quality sleep means a high-quality life. Lapping up those sweet, sweet Zzz’s is essential to many of our core bodily functions and helps us process thoughts throughout the day. The result? A much more stable mood and the ability to stay focused on the tasks in front of us all day long. Getting enough sleep not only keeps you in a state of mental balance, but it also helps your body ward off disease and lowers risk factors for things like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. In short, it’s a must!
But if you’re a night owl, it can be hard to get your mind to wind down with the sun. Night owls tend to have their best thoughts and ideas right before bed, which makes it tempting to stay up and ponder. But there are some things you can do to make sure you get a good night’s sleep, from taking a CBD gummy or two before you hit the hay to making sure you have “me” time during the day so you’re not tempted to get it all in at bedtime. Here are some of our best tips.
Try Nighttime Supplements
Supplements such as CBD and melatonin work naturally with your body to help signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and rest. CBD is a non-psychoactive — meaning it won’t make you feel “high” — compound derived from the cannabis plant. It is known to have an effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates sleep and mood.
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body to help regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Taking it as a supplement is a well-established treatment for insomnia. You’ll find a variety of CBD and melatonin supplements out there, including capsules that contain both to help you get high-quality sleep no matter what.
Quiet the Mind Before Bedtime
Many of us struggle to get to sleep at night because we find it difficult to quiet our racing thoughts when we lie down. There are a few things you can do to try to get your mind to relax, including:
- Practice guided meditation. Doing a quick 15-minute guided meditation is a great way to help clear your mind so you can fall asleep.
- Turn off all screens. We know it can be tempting to scroll until you fall asleep or keep the TV on as a distraction, but doing so will only signal to the brain that it’s time to be alert and awake.
- Go on “do not disturb.” Your phone has a handy little “do not disturb” setting that you can flip on to keep all calls, texts and other notifications quiet.
- Don’t check emails. Make sure you have a cutoff time each day where you stop checking emails or answering texts. This will prevent you from entering into any mind-occupying tasks as you’re trying to wind down for the day.
- Don’t watch or read anything too serious. Intense dramas, mysteries, true crime, etc. can work up your brain and send it into overdrive mode.
Practice Good ‘Sleep Hygiene’
Sleep hygiene involves all the behaviors you follow in order to help yourself get a good night’s sleep. Following a steady routine is a key way to signal to the brain that it’s time to start settling down before bedtime. Here are some great ways to get into a solid sleep hygiene routine.
- Go to bed at the same time each day. If you hit the hay at the same time each day, your body will eventually start to learn when it needs to start relaxing to prepare for sleep.
- Budget time for winding down. Unfortunately, most of us don’t lie down and fall asleep within a few minutes. We need time to decompress and get our minds in the right headspace. Budget 30 minutes to an hour for reading, stretching or meditation to help your mind prepare for sleep.
- Don’t eat or drink stimulants at least several hours before bedtime. That includes alcohol, coffee and all sugary, caffeinated drinks.
- Control the light and noise. Excess light and noise can be a serious hindrance to a good night’s rest, so make sure you’re able to control light and noise as much as possible as you start to wind down for the night.
- Control the temperature. The temperature in your space can significantly affect your quality of sleep. Make sure it’s set to the right number so you don’t wake up hot or cold during the night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for sleep is somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for most adults.
Set Aside ‘Do Not Disturb’ Time During the Day
One reason why many night owls tend to lie awake for hours is because nighttime eliminates all the expectations and obligations that are omnipresent when the sun is up. At night, you’re not required to answer your phone, write back to any emails or be available to anyone. For this reason, many night people find this time period more peaceful and hospitable to productive, creative thoughts.
However, it isn’t practical to stay up late just to avoid others or find a sliver of peace and quiet. You are entitled to that during the day as well! Set aside “do not disturb” time during the day or in the evening hours so you get that same freedom without it compromising a good night’s rest.
Reliably Good Sleep Is the Key to Good Health
In order to live a happy, healthy and productive life, you need to get the right amount of sleep every night. Although you may feel like you’re thriving enjoying those creative, productive and quiet hours well into the night, you’re only setting yourself up for problems in the morning. Follow these great tips to get better sleep, and you might just find that you’re a morning person after all!