I don’t know about you, but since the time changed for daylight savings time, I just can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. We’ve all heard how important it is to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night – how sleep increases your energy, makes your skin glow, helps with weight loss, improves your memory and helps you focus better. I get it and don’t get me wrong, I crave sleep. But some of us, even if we follow all the suggestions for better sleep – turn off technology, keep the room dark, don’t use caffeine, go to bed early – just can’t seem to sleep that much.
When my children were young and I was a sleep-deprived mom feeling so tired that I just cried, I remember wistfully thinking back on the days when I was a teen and slept in until noon. I swore that when my kids were older and I didn’t need to get up in the morning to care for them, I would return to the habit of sleeping the day away. Lo and behold, that time has come – and as fate would have it, I am awake when the sun rises. As nice as it is not to need an alarm clock anymore, I know I need good sleep for better health.
I talked to my friends for suggestions and got some great ideas – from supplements or a cup of hot water before bedtime to reading a book or avoiding exercise in the evening. I tried a few and they helped but I was curious to find out more. So being the techno-geek that I am, I opened up Google and started searching (what did we ever do before the internet?) and found that there is some technology that can actually help you sleep better.
1. Sleep music or white noise.
Go to a music station such as Spotify or the Itunes Store and you will find a wide selection of soothing music and sounds – piano, soft jazz, waves and rainfall – designed to drown out outside noise or just provide soothing rhythms that can help you relax.
2. Enjoy a bedtime story.
Your mom may not be around to read you a story, but you and your partner can take turns reading to each other. Besides getting good rest, you also get the bonus of quality time spent together. If you sleep alone, try an audiobook, preferably a nice story narrated by someone with a soothing voice.
3. Take a power nap.
Can’t get in 7-8 hours at one time? Short naps under 30 minutes have been proven to restore wakefulness and productivity. You can set your phone timer for 30 minutes and take a quick snooze. Need some help? Yes, there are power nap apps that you can download that will give you tips for power napping and choices of white noise to help you snooze.
The most important thing that helps you sleep better is not to worry about sleeping! If it eases your mind to keep track of your sleeping patterns, go ahead and wear your fitness device while you sleep. If not, just try some suggestions and keep at it until you find what works for you. For me, I listen to the same sleep music every night now and I am sleeping more soundly…and have even overslept a time or two (sorry, boss!) Since I have gotten more sleep, I do feel that my ability to focus has increased and I have more energy to get through the day. Good luck and sweet dreams!