1. Set an alarm one hour before your desired sleep time (10 p.m. is a sweet spot!) and put away all blue screens which negatively affect the body's natural circadian rhythm. During this time, make a commitment to yourself to read, write, take a bath, or anything else that feels relaxing to you. Keep the lights dim to help signal to your body that sleep is coming. Reducing artificial light also signals the production of melatonin to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Ever go camping and sleep like a rock? Now you know why! We are cyclical beings and do best keeping our circadian rhythms in sync with nature.
2. Cultivate a sleep-friendly environment by investing in blackout curtains to support complete darkness, as well as choosing a comfortable mattress and pillows. Make bedtime the most enjoyable aspect of your day - as much as you enjoy your morning cup of coffee, cup of tea, yoga, or whatever ritual you have to start your day!
3. Keep a cool environment by turning down the thermostat or opening your windows. We are more likely to sleep soundly in a room that is cool.
4. For those who run hot, natural fiber sheets such as linen, organic cotton, or bamboo will assist in temperature regulation while you are sleeping.
5. Commit to a regular sleep schedule and aim to wake up at the same time every day, even the weekends. This will support your natural circadian rhythm. When we receive consistent hours of daytime sunlight through the retina, the body will release cortisol, causing increased wakefulness and energy throughout the day, and also singal the production of melatonin several hours to prepare you for bedtime. Spending too much time on electronics or with the lights on in the evening can continue cortisol production when we need it the least.