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Last Updated on November 12, 2017

You Probably Forgot To Do This If You Can’t Sleep At Night

You Probably Forgot To Do This If You Can’t Sleep At Night

Winter is coming, and for many of us, that means bundling up in cozy blankets and pilling fluffy pillows on our bed to tempt us to hit the snooze button more than usual. Though turning up the heat before you turn into bed can seem appealing with cooler weather, you may find you don’t have such a restful night of sleep.

Though it sounds like a cozy bedroom creation, keeping your bedroom warm can make you more likely to overheat while you sleep. This can lead to excessive tossing and turning and even those embarrassing sweaty mornings.

The relationship between body temperature and sleep

Our body temperature is always changing and self-adjusting throughout the day.

    As you can see from the graph above, you’re coolest around 6am – the time many of us wake up. Throughout the day, you continue to get warmer until you peak around 9pm – the time many of us are getting ready to head to bed. From there, your body temperature drops until you reach your coolest point once again at 6am.

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    Have you ever realized how lazy you feel when you’re hot? It’s due to a physiological response our body gives off!

      It’s fighting against the temperature in an effort to keep from overheating. It’s the same reason you’re more likely to want to take a nap on a hot summer afternoon than you would be to play a sport. One will help regulate your body temp, while the other can overheat you and cause severe dizziness.

      By now you’ve heard about how important absolute darkness is for truly restful sleep, but did you know your body temperature is just as impactful?[1]

      “Combination of sleep onset and maintenance insomnia has been associated with a 24-h elevation of core body temperature supporting the chronic hyper-arousal model of insomnia. The possibility that these last two types of insomnia may be related to impaired thermoregulation, particularly a reduced ability to dissipate body heat from distal skin areas, has not been consistently supported in laboratory studies. Further studies of thermoregulation are needed in the typical home environment in which the insomnia is most evident.”

      The best temperature for restful sleep

      The optimal body temperature for sleep should be between 60 and 67 degrees.[2] When the room is too warm and you’re also bundled under a heavy comforter and surrounded by heavy pillows, the body temperature increases leading to discomfort.

      In most cases any temperature above 75 degrees Fahrenheit and below 54 degrees will interfere with your sleep.

      Keep your body temperature low to sleep better

      We could all use a better night’s sleep, so here’s how to be the master of your temperature and wake up ready to face the day.

      1. Keep the room temperature low

      If you keep your room relatively cool, you are far less likely to become overheated, leading to that restless sleep no one wants. In order to ensure ideal temperatures, try keeping your curtains closed during the day so the sun light can’t heat the bedroom too much. And if possible, leave your bedroom door open so that air can circulate throughout the day.

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      2. Use Breathable Bedding

      Synthetics like polyester, which tend to be less breathable than their natural counterparts like cotton, linen, or even wool are a no-no. Natural fibers can also help wick away moisture like sweat. Memory foam pillows may be comfortable but they also get very hot, so try to stay away. If you’re convinced you can’t sleep without a fancy pillow, look into those that have cooling and breathable fibers to ensure a low temp while you rest. For mattresses, or mattress covers, look for those with cooling fibers, too.

      3. Lower your temperature before you go to sleep.

      Take a warm bath, or hot shower, before bed. As soon as you step out of the bath or shower, your body temperature drops rapidly to re-regulate with the temperature of the room. That quick change physiologically can cause sleepiness.

      4. Stay away from anything that gives you heat.

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      Try not to use, or even look at, your mobile devices before bed. Along with keeping you interested and awake, the light also makes it hard for your brain to register that it’s bedtime. Likewise, keep the room dark when you’re trying to fall asleep. A sleep mask does an excellent job of blocking out all light, helping you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. And to ensure you stay cool, try wearing a cool face cloth to bed, or keep a water spray bottle for misting. It’s also a great idea to keep a glass of cold water next to the bed.

      Get some sleep!

      Remember, keep your bedroom cool and stay away from non-breathable fabrics when shopping for bedding. Though the fall and winter can have you craving heavy blankets and this pajamas, it’s not conducive to sleep and can leave you feeling overheated and generally unwell. Keep some ice water by your bedside and take a few sips if you find yourself waking up throughout the night. Don’t be afraid to peel back the blankets; you can always keep some extras nearby in case you wake up chilly.

      Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

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      Jolie Choi

      Gone through a few heartbreaks and lost hundreds of friends but I am still happy with my life.

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      Published on July 17, 2018

      20 Tips to Get Your Bedtime Routine Started for a Better Tomorrow

      20 Tips to Get Your Bedtime Routine Started for a Better Tomorrow

      “Today is tomorrow’s yesterday,” the quote says and it rings true from North to South, from West to East. And if we want to have a productive and energetic today, we need to prepare it yesterday. If we learn from yesterday, we can live today and we’ll even have time to plan for tomorrow.

      The best way to jumpstart your day isn’t the first thing you do in the morning – but the last thing you do the night before. And here is a list of 20 tips that you can use for your bedtime routine to start the next morning energetic and productive:

      1. Create your bedtime routine

      In the words of late Jim Rohn:

      “Simple things are simple to do but they are also simple not to do.”

      The first thing to start with is by actually creating a bedtime routine. By this, I don’t mean just being a victim of consequences like kids, late dinners or office tasks that need to be done.

      By creating a bedtime routine, you consciously create a set of behaviors that you will do (or not do) before you fall asleep that night.

      In the beginning, it only needs to be a single thing that you adhere to like no laptop in the bed or TV for only 30 minutes or hitting at sack at 11:30 pm max.

      And you can use the following tips to optimize your bedtime routine.

      2. Play music

      Music has a variety of effects on our bodies. First of all, our bodies are 70% water and vibrations affect us physiologically. There was a research done by Dr. Masaru Emoto who studied the effects that music has on the structure of frozen water molecules.

      By playing certain (soothing) music, you will feel relaxed and prepared for sleep. I personally use post-rock (piano) songs playlist which include songs like “Your Hand In Mine” by Explosions In The Sky, everything from Anthony Greninger and The XX.

      Now, it’s all about finding the perfect music for you. You need to find your own rhythm, so try out a lot of different songs and categories and see what fits you the best.

      3. Read a book

      This one is a bit tricky – you should be reading a book before you sleep but not something which is hard to understand and needs a lot of straining from your conscious mind.

      It’s best to read something lighter before bedtime because it will put your mind in a nice rhythm and will induce you into a qualitative sleep.

      This doesn’t mean that you should read things like 50 Shades of Grey (no, please no), but don’t go reading “Gödel, Escher, Bach: and Eternal Golden Braid” by Douglas Hofstadter either.

      Pick something that interests you and is quite easy to read like “How To Win Friends & Influence People” or biographies like “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage” by Alfred Lansing.

      4. Put on your pajamas

      When you jump into your sleeping clothes, you signal your mind and body to shut down and go into “sleep mode.”

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      Try to have a set of pajamas always prepared next to your bed and never go under the sheets with your house or work clothes.

      5. Plan out your 3 most important tasks for tomorrow

      This is something Leo Babuta talked a lot. When you plan out your 3 most important tasks for tomorrow, you immediately eliminate unnecessary decisions from tomorrow’s day.

      When you remove decision making from the day, all that’s left is to just do that activity.

      This is backed by research about ego depletion, where making decisions throughout the day depletes our willpower, making us less likely to do the activities.

      But if you prepare them in advance (decide and write down that you’ll do it), you will be more likely to do them.

      So plan out your 3 most important tasks for tomorrow and sleep like a baby, knowing what you will do tomorrow.

      6. Write a journal

      “Dear diary….” or you can start any other way. But this isn’t a six-grade school girl writing who she has a crush on. This is about reflecting on what happened to you today, how that activity made you feel and your general impression of the day.

      Here’s a how-to guide on how to start writing a journal:

      Writing Journal for a Better and More Productive Self (The How-To Guide)

      7. Prepare clothes for tomorrow

      We talked about ego depletion when planning the next day. It’s the thing with the clothes you will wear tomorrow.

      When you prepare things for the next morning, your mind won’t go into “freak” mode, trying to remember everything you need to do in the morning like finding clothes for work, making breakfast, finishing that presentation, checking the valve pressure, changing the car oil, saving the world…

      When you prepare for the morning in advance, you sleep better because you don’t have those menial tasks like clothes hovering around your head.

      8. Turn off your WiFi

      The word of the 21st century is connectedness and it’s great – we are more connected than ever. But this doesn’t mean that you need to be connected 24/7.

      During the night, you should definitely turn off your WiFi and be unavailable. This makes your brain rest and doesn’t put you in that always-available-state, where you’re always prepared for that email or message.

      Just leave it for the morning – 99% of things can wait. And if it’s that 1% that can’t wait, trust me, they will find a way to contact you.

      9. Watch entertainment

      Throughout the day, you should be working, learning and pushing yourself. But when the night comes, you need to reward yourself for the activities and accomplishments of the day – because you deserve it.

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      So take 30-45 minutes and simply watch entertainment without feeling guilty – you can even watch a good movie. I have my entertainment nights on Friday where I watch gaming tournaments on YouTube – just a big fan of League of Legends.

      10. Do mindfulness exercise like meditation

      Mindfulness doesn’t have to be meditation, but meditation is almost always mindfulness.

      Mindfulness trains your mind to become present and aware of the things and people that surround you. This makes you forget about the worries of the future and the regrets of the past and makes you live in the present.

      Mindfulness as a bedtime routine helps you clear out your mind and makes you fall asleep easily, without those pesky regrets and worries sneaking up on you when you finally hit the sack.

      Find out more about how Meditation Can Change Your Life: The Power of Mindfulness.

      11. Evaluate your today

      You planned out the 3 most important tasks that you need to do today. Now, it’s time to evaluate those tasks.

      This is the time for self reflection, and Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

      So sit down and evaluate if you managed to accomplish the 3 tasks that you set up the night before.

      12. Write down 3 things that happened today (not gratefulness)

      This is a really good exercise because it’s not woo-woo like gratefulness or unstructured as a diary.

      This is about making a history book out of your life- something your grandkids might read upon and see how your life looked like.

      Writing down 3 things that happened today makes you simply record 3 events that happened on the day, with or without your judgment about them (good or bad, positive or negative).

      After 3-6 months, you can read upon these and summarize them to create a timeline of your life and after a year, summarize it again.

      This will create a timeline of your life, with all major events that happened written down. It will also make you more self-aware about the things happening every single day.

      13. Drink water

      Quality of sleep depends a lot on the hydration of our bodies. If you feel the thirst, it means you are already dehydrated.

      The sacred rule I adhere to for a quality bedtime routine is one glass of water before bed and one glass of water as soon as I wake up.

      Take a look at this article to find out How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You).

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      14. Cool off the room

      Setting the right conditions for sleep are optimal for a quality-like sleep and productive and energetic day.

      You need to sleep in a colder, dark and silent room. The quality of mattress and pillow also contribute to good sleep and even better mornings.

      You might want to consider investing in a sleeping mask, good mattress and an even better pillow – it makes a big difference.

      Here’s a guide on how to choose a good mattress:

      Your Essential Guide To Buying The Right Mattress

      15. Don’t eat heavy food

      Eating that late night dinner at 10:30 pm and then going back home trying to fall asleep is like getting drunk and trying to walk the line – you think you can do it until you actually try it.

      A big dinner and heavy food before bedtime keeps your stomach working 24/7 and prevents it from having any rest during the night. This affects the quality of sleep and makes you feel groggy before you fall asleep and extends to when you wake up.

      Remove heavy food from your night meals and look at how your energy spikes in the morning – I did it six months ago and I am never going back to it.

      Check out more food options to help you sleep here:

      12 Bedtime Snacks/Drinks That Can Help You Sleep Better

      16. Avoid exercise before sleep

      You shouldn’t exercise 3 hours before bedtime – it wakes up your entire body and prepares you for a physical activity.

      Exercise is for morning or tops afternoon – the night is for relaxing bedtime routine activities.

      However, you can try to stretch your body to help relax your nerves before going to sleep:

      6 Yoga Poses You Can Do In Bed Before Sleeping For Better Health

      17. Go to bed at the same time

      Training your body and mind to shut down at the same time is beneficiary because it learns when you don’t need energy and when you do. This makes your energy usage more effective because you are 100% active when you need it and 0% active when you don’t need it.

      Most people work on a 50-60% active energy, always being active but never being on their top game. If you train your body and mind to shut down after, let’s say, 11:00 pm, then it will reward you with energy spikes in the morning and afternoon.

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      And the easiest way to accomplish this is by going to bed at the same time.

      18. Optimize sleep cycles

      Tips 17. and 18. are closely connected.

      Sleep cycles consist of 1.5-hour rotations, where you finish one round of sleeping after 1.5 hours of sleeping and start over again. The best time to wake up is when a sleep cycle ends and just before the next starts.

      So to optimize your sleep cycles, you should wake up after 5 or 6 sleep cycles, respectively after 7.5 or 9 hours of sleep. This is when you will feel the most energetic.

      Hitting your sleep cycles at the beginning is quite hard but when you always fall asleep at the same time, your body will adjust to it and will make you hit them.

      For more tips, here’s How to Hack Your Sleep Cycle and Get Better Sleep.

      19. Work on your passion project

      Nothing brings more satisfaction to a person than seeing a dream, a vision which only lived inside of a person mind come to life. And working on a passion project is exactly that – you are making a reality out of your vision or a dream.

      You can allocate 20-30 minutes a night to work on your passion project. This will make the feeling of accomplishment even stronger and will affect the quality of your sleep by a handful.

      If you think you’re too busy to do what you’re passionate about, here’re 7 Ways You Can Make Time For Your Passion.

      20. Spend time with loved ones

      The biggest factor that contributes to a happy and fulfilled life are relationships – with friends, family and loved ones.

      At the end of a long, arduous day, you should spend time with your loved ones- the people with whom you can share your happy but also your sad moments.

      A path to many starts with one

      Not all of these 20 tips will make sense to you and they shouldn’t. You should pick out one and start with that and then, add up another one.

      Test what works for you and what makes sense and you will soon see the difference in your energy and productivity.

      Just remember – the path to many starts with only a single one. Start with one and create a bedtime routine for a better tomorrow.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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