Hustling is cool, but resting is having a moment … finally. It’s no secret that sleep is good for your health, but we’re finally realizing that it lives at the very top of the wellness pyramid. If there is any intention at the top of the list for 2022, it should be prioritizing those beauty z’s.
Alanna McGinn, certified sleep expert and founder of Good Night Sleep Site, a global sleep consulting practice, knows how to make this happen. We’ve heard about blue light, we know about sleepy time tea, but we reached out to McGinn to help us think outside of the box, er bed, so that we have a full arsenal of tools to help us drift off for our best slumber.
Wear PJs to Cue Your Body to Sleep
“Just like when you put on your clothes for work and your body and mind are ready to start the day, when you are comfortable and look ready for bed, your body and mind will relax and prepare to sleep. What you don’t want to do is change into your PJs at, say, 8 p.m. and then watch TV for two hours on the couch. What you wear to bed can help you create the sleep sanctuary you need for a proper restorative night of sleep.”
Get Prepared for the Morning
“Simple tasks like preparing work and school lunches at night, choosing outfits to wear, and packing up school bags and work bags before you go to sleep can save you time in the morning and even allow you some extra sleep time because you won’t have to do it in the morning.”
Appeal to Your Five Senses
“Create a sleep toolkit for the five senses. Include earplugs, eye masks, sound machines, or aromatherapy to help you sleep soundly throughout the night and wake up well-rested in the morning.”
Manage Bedtime Stress
McGinn suggests practicing visualization to help keep our minds off of troubling thoughts. We can visualize a peaceful, comfortable, ideal space where we feel settled, creating a soothing reality. She explains that this helps us to create meaning for ourselves based on our own goals and experiences, while soothing our adrenals.
Set Boundaries on Bedtime Tech
“Not all tech is bad at bedtime. Try to avoid tech that amps up your stress levels. Stay away from triggering news headlines and highly suspenseful shows. Focus on connecting with a friend who makes you laugh via text, or social media accounts that make you feel good. Download a meditation app or soothing bedtime playlist that can help you drift off to sleep.”
Establish Clear Shifts of Phases
“Many of us are still working from home or having our kids do online school. It’s important to set boundaries between work, school, and wind-down time with clear shifts of phases. Incorporate a set time each day to log off of work or school and focus on your individual or family health and well-being.”
Go to Bed Tired, Not Necessarily Early
“This isn’t me giving you permission to stay up until 2 a.m., but many think that by going to bed at 9 p.m. we are doing right by our sleep hygiene. If you are a natural lark [aka a morning person] then this bedtime may work for you, but if not, it may be too early, which promotes tossing and turning and spending too much awake time in bed. Instead, listen to your body and be mindful of your natural sleepy cues.”
Up next, be the first to know our weekly content and sign up for our Poosh newsletter.