This post is sponsored by NATROL, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, between work, family, day-to-day worries and living through the last year… it’s safe to say that we’re all tired. Everyone’s sleep has been impacted while living through 2020, and 95% of people say they have developed new sleep problems over the last year (AJMC).
I’m sure you’ve heard that adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep consistently, and the key ingredient to a successful sleep routine is a regulated circadian rhythm – the body’s internal clock that manages the balance between sleep and wakefulness. Part of this rhythm is regulated by your body’s natural melatonin production – and when life’s disruptions get in the way, our melatonin cycles can be thrown off. But the solution isn’t just sleeping more, it’s about training our bodies to sleep better.
When we let a variety of factors consistently get in the way of a good night’s sleep, we can do more long-term harm to our bodies than we realize. So as we prepare for Daylight Saving Time next month, It’s time for a wake up call! Here are a few tips to help you #ResetYourSnooze!
- Create a Sleep Routine: Establishing a consistent sleep-wake schedule helps regulate your body’s rhythms and increases the quality of sleep. As I get older, my body is kind of doing this on it’s own. Even if I stay up late, my inner alarm wakes me up at the same time every day – ha!
- Avoid Bright Screens 60 Minutes Before Bedtime: Exposure to bright LED lights such as smartphones, laptops and TV screens before bed can interfere with your body’s natural release of melatonin. I know it’s tempting to lay in bed and scroll, but did you know screens flood our brains with the same serotonin-inducing light as the sun? No wonder it’s harder to fall asleep when we take our phones to bed! Put them away, so your brain knows it’s time to wind down.
- Avoid late night snacking and caffeine: No one loves a late night snack and Netflix binge as much as we do, but Anderson swears he doesn’t sleep as well when he eats right before bedtime. And I can’t drink caffeine any later than early afternoon, because the effects can linger in the body for up to six hours. The older I get the earlier my caffeine cut off time gets! Before long I’ll have to get up extra early just to enjoy one cup of coffee each day.;)
- Consider Taking a Melatonin Supplement: When you need a little extra help, Natrol® Melatonin can help you fall asleep and stay asleep, so you wake up rested.† When we experience occasional sleeplessness or other disturbances in our routine (like travel or Daylight Saving Time) I always reach for Natrol products. Melatonin is like our body’s biological clock, managing the sleep and wake cycles. But age, everyday stress, and diet can take a toll on our production of melatonin. Natrol Melatonin supplements, from the #1 melatonin brand in America^, help to establish normal sleep patterns to give us a more restful night.† The supplements are 100% drug-free and non-habit forming, plus they taste great! I’ve been using them for years when we travel!
- Create a Calm, Dark Bedroom Oasis: A noise-free and dark bedroom environment can help you sleep better throughout the night. Mask noise pollution with calming sounds or ear plugs and block out disruptive light with darkening curtains or a sleep mask. Ear plugs are one of my personal sleep tips: My mom has been sleeping with earplugs forever, and I’ve always made fun of her for it. I guess my dad snores though, so if she wants to sleep she has to get creative! Then a couple of years ago she and I were in New York, and there was someone using a jackhammer outside our hotel all night. I didn’t sleep at all, and my mom told me I had to try some earplugs the next night. So in total desperation, I did. And I slept better than I had in years! I’ve used them ever since. Moms really do know best.
- Try a weighted blanket: We love weighted blankets! Last year I was talking to a friend about how Kingston had a hard time falling asleep, and she strongly(!) recommended we try a weighted blanket. So I immediately bought one, and Kingston loves it! The blanket makes him feel warm and secure and calms his body which helps calm his mind. If you’re interested in weighted blankets, here are a few good ones! He also got an eye mask on an overnight flight a few years ago and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Ha! So now that’s also part of his bedtime routine on nights when he can’t fall asleep.
- Exercise Daily: Walking as little as 10 minutes a day can help improve sleep quality! I try to fit in some type of workout every day. One of the positive results of this last year has been more time to exercise… no excuses. What else was I going to do with all that time at home?! And I’ve realized just how healthy it is for my body AND mind. I go to the gym, do the at-home workouts, and run or walk outside some days. Moving my body helps my mental health so much, which in turn makes me a better wife, mom, friend, employee… really, a better person. And it improves my sleep!
- Read… or do another relaxing activity: King and I both love to read before bed! It helps us relax and get our minds in sleep mode. Some nights I read to him, other times he reads to me, and then there are nights we lay in bed together reading separate books. It’s the best! If reading isn’t your thing you might want to do some yoga and stretching or another activity that helps your body and mind relax!
This post is sponsored by NATROL, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. Also, I have to tell you that “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.”
^Nielsen, xAOC, 1/23/21
*Melatonin is a solution for occasional sleeplessness. †