Sleep tight. Insomnia is that friend we hate, but can't ever seem to get rid of. Some weeks, our schedules are absolutely packed, and at the end of a long day, we look forward to getting into bed and hitting snooze. But sometimes our minds and bodies are still racing from to-do lists, too much coffee, and tomorrow's schedule. We can't seem to unwind and it's easy to get stuck wondering if wellness is really necessary. Truth is, it's totally necessary -- and if you're having trouble getting some sleep, there are healthy and simple things to do before bed that will have you knocked out in no time.
You've tried it all. The herbal teas, the extra dose of melatonin, and the power naps just aren't cutting it. As a kid, nap time was the best time of the day, and nobody questioned that you needed that extra hour in the afternoon to hit the reset button. As an adult, times have certainly changed. You find yourself settling on little-to-no sleep for the sake of your schedule, and researching new apartments in Spain where siestas are the cultural norm.
We aren't Energizer bunnies, and getting your full eight hours has so many good benefits for your health. It makes your skin brighter, improves your mood, and all-in-all makes us more equipped to handle life as it comes at us. So, before you attempt to hit the hay tonight, try these eight things to calm your busy brain and finally get some sleep.
There are several yoga poses that help relax your body and mind before bed. Yoga is known for being like the super food of fitness -- increasing your blood flow, flexibility, and mindset among all else.
Stretch out your arms and back in child's pose, or do a quick vinyasa flow to find your center before calling it quits on the day. You'll find that the fluid motions will bring some relief to your stressed out muscles and mind.
Work hard, play hard. Getting active is always a good idea. After a long day, the gym might not be on the top of your priority list, but pumping out that extra adrenaline will be incredibly worth it later on.
When we work out, our body releases endorphins that increase our happiness, like serotonin and dopamine. There's nothing like this little internal boost of positivity to bring you the sweetest of dreams.
Water is life's liquid. Don't drink it sparingly.
If you make one New Year's resolution, it should be to drink more water. Hydration is incredibly important for our body's everyday functions. You can get water just from the foods you choose to eat. Fruits like apples, and vegetables like cucumbers or celery are great for replenishing your body's water supply. Add them to your late night snack list.
Before bed, drink a glass of water and fill another for yourself in the morning. You're truly similar to a fish out of water, hydrate accordingly.
Grab a book or a magazine and take the time to read. Even if you can only get through a paragraph before your eyes start getting all squinty, it'll allow your brain to focus on something other than your surroundings or the obstacles in your mind. Let your soul escape into other worlds and stories, and emerge a little more refreshed for the road ahead.
Plug your phone in for the night, and let yourself recharge. Disconnecting from all your social media feeds, text messages, and the rest of the world's nonsense is key to a good night's sleep.
Some find endlessly scrolling through Twitter and Instagram before bed to be relaxing, but it is actually a huge inhibitor to your brain's nightly routine. Much like how bright lights and noises can be distracting to our sleep cycle, screens put an unnecessary spark in our brains. Hit "Do Not Disturb" and your pillow.
On top of disconnecting to stop new information from entering our brains late at night, it's important that we clean up whatever mess is leftover from the day as well. Writing can be incredibly therapeutic. Having a journal, or just a notebook in which you can write down a thought or two, allows you to process what's in your mind and hit reset.
When we don't write it down, our brains tend to go through the vicious cycle of overthinking. All of those memes and Tumblr posts about getting in our feels late at night could be cured with this one simple pre-bed task.
OK, let me be clear. You don't need to figure out your life story every night before bed. But checking in with your planners and weekly to-do lists will once again help get all that junk out of your mind and onto a physical piece of paper.
Make a goal for the next day, and take a moment to reflect on what you accomplished during this day -- even if it was just that you survived the subway. You'll feel better moving forward, when you realize you're not totally lost in a sleepless sea.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Like doing a plank at the gym, or running into our crush, it's important to remember to breathe at the end of along day. Oh boy, can life be stressful, and you'll get dizzy if you keep running circles in your mind. Take a cleansing breath, and know tomorrow is a new day. Sweet dreams.