Just because you still have the energy to party ‘till 4am, doesn’t mean you should lull yourself to sleep scrolling through (and picking filters for) selfies of the night gone done. When you’re young and the choice between Nashville and Walden is practically a major life decision, it’s easy to take things like sleep for granted. But do you know that you can lose your youth just as fast because of that?
We are all guilty of checking Instagram, Facebook, emails, and sometimes even working in bed, but doing so will associate your body with the stress you get from work even when you’re tucked in and ready to load up on zzzs. The blue light from the screen also suppresses the body from making melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. The result: panda eyes, looking and feeling tired all the time, and crashing in the middle of the day.
Instead, train your mind and body to think that the bed is made for sleeping, which should be the case in the first place. Getting at least eight hours of sleep will give you energy to last the next day, boost your brain to be productive, improve your immune system, supply you with happy hormones for a better mood, bless you with healthier skin, and, as studies have shown, even lengthen your life span.
While you're at it, try out these other helpful adjustments to your sleeping habits:
GET TUCKED IN AN HOUR BEFORE YOUR SLEEPING TIME.
If you want to get up by seven, and get eight full hours of happy slumber, then shoot for 10pm instead of 11pm. What you’ve probably been doing wrong all this time is slipping under your duvet only at your target hour. Give your body roughly 60 minutes to get yourself ready to sleep before you actually doze off. Spritz on calming pillow spray, read a book, medidate, pray, do whatever relaxes you, and naturally, your body will fall into sleep.
STOP EATING IN BED.
Do yourself a favor and spare yourself from the extra calories you'll get from craving munchies in bed. Do you really want to sleep with all those crumbs? And without brushing your teeth?
DO NOT EXERCISE BEFORE SLEEPING.
If you think that tiring yourself through exercise right before sleeping will work, then you're wrong. Yes, exercise will release sleep-inducing melatonin, but it should be done four hours before you want to slip under your sheets.
IT’S ALL IN THE BREATHING.
Ever heard of the “4-7-8” breathing trick? Some girls swear by this technique, especially those who are over-stressed, even brides who can’t sleep before their wedding day! Basically the trick promises to make you fall asleep in more or less a minute. All you need to do is breathe through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. The studied combination of numbers slows down one’s heart rate, relaxing your mind and body, telling them to sleep. Continue doing the three steps and the next thing you know, it's time to rise and shine.
FIGHT THE URGE TO PRESS THE DEADLY SNOOZE BUTTON
We know a lot of you are guilty of setting your alarm with the snooze option, but hate to break it you, it actually just makes things worse. Hitting that deadly button doesn’t work for everyone, because more often than not, missing the next alarm will put you in a deeper sleep, make you feel groggy, and take you longer to feel fully awake.
Here's to a year of true beauty sleep!