As the mother of an infant, sleep has never been more important to me. I actually grieve for all the days I took sleeping for granted. For months I’ve been shuffling around trying to function like a normal human when every single part of me feels off. People ask me how I am and I don't’ even say “I’m tired AF,” anymore because I know I sound like a broken record. It’s all I talk about, it’s all I think about. I fantasize about the day I’m going to let my head hit the pillow and crash for a solid 9 hours.
For now I just fit in a sleep ritual that I can, put myself to bed at a decent time and quietly wish my baby sleeps through the night. The glimmer of hope that I hang on to when I’m feeling ultra sleep deprived is that it’s only temporary, but this isn’t the case for most American adults. Stress, sleep disorders and lifestyle all contribute to problems getting a good night’s rest. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night yet it’s estimated that 1 in 3 American adults aren’t getting enough shut eye. According to this consumer reports article the answer is simple math. Americans are working longer than ever- an average of 44 hours per week with some folks working a record amount of 60 hours per week. Why do we feel that our global economy is more important than our health? If stress from work is keeping you up at night, we invite you to set some boundaries for yourself that would improve your quality of life and overall health.
“Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.” said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health. “As a nation we are not getting enough sleep.”
Long term effects of sleep deprivation are real and detrimental to overall health. Weight gain, memory loss and weakened immune system are only a few of many dangerous impacts that lack of sleep can have on your body. So the question remains, how do we get more quality sleep? Start with the essentials- it may be time to invest in a new mattress, pillow or bedding to make your sleep journey more comfortable. Sometimes, getting more sleep can be as simple as resetting your night time habit and making it a priority. We’ve put together 5 easy tips from the experts that you can use to create a bedtime ritual that helps you drift off into dreamland.
- Keep a Schedule: Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Create a schedule that allows you 7-9 hours in bed each night depending on how much sleep your body needs. If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy and head back to bed.
- Create a Sleep Sanctuary: Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet. Add in some aromatherapy with an essential oil diffuser or try red light therapy. Sleep props like white noise machines can also be helpful in lulling you off to sleep. Create a no technology rule to protect yourself from blue light exposure, which can trigger hormones that keep you awake.
- Get Moving During the Day: Getting regular exercise has been shown to improve sleep- even more so if it’s outside. Just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day will increase slow waves in your brain that contribute to deep sleep. Spending time outdoors has also been shown to contribute to better sleep by encouraging our body’s natural circadian rhythm.
- Ditch the Alcohol: According to studies, alcohol, even in small amounts, has a negative impact on your sleep. Alcohol compromises the quality of later stages of sleep because the liver is working hard to metabolize alcohol. Swap your nightly glass of wine for a relaxing CBD beverage or hot cup of herbal tea, which may aid in sleep.
- Try a Soak: Don’t get us started on the benefits of having a bath. While relaxing, especially if you’re using our bath bombs, a warm bath also lowers our core temperature. You may be thinking, wait... I’m all warm and toasty after I get out of the bath… and you would be correct. Having a warm bath brings your blood to the surface and your body (namely hands and feet) releases that heat while lowering your core temperature.
If you haven’t been sleeping well, it’s not too late. You can start working on better sleep habits right now. Better sleep means better health. Follow us on social to learn more about sleep health as we team up with The National Sleep Foundation to promote Sleep Awareness Week, March 14-20. Want to go all in? Grab a tin of Mad Ritual and join us for a totally chill, totally free Virtual Slumber Party on Friday March 19th at 7pm PST. RSVP here or more details.