Rest, Rejuvenate, Repeat: The Importance of Sleep and Tips to Master It

written by Grace LaLonde

Establishing Healthy Sleep Routines

Getting successful sleep is all about sticking to habits. Setting routines is sometimes difficult, but it is all about starting them and sticking to them – especially when it comes to sleep.

Space Separation: Key to Restful Sleep

Better sleep can come to us when we are intentional about separating our sleep environment from our work environment. For example, your desk is meant for working and, whenever possible, should be in a separate space from your sleep space. Making the sleep space a quiet and relaxing environment can help sustain the consistency of our sleep routine and promote better, more restful sleep. [4]

The Pitfalls of Screen Time Before Bed

We may think that watching TV or scrolling through Facebook can be relaxing, but does that include the relaxation of our mind? Not necessarily. Actually, it can prevent your brain from winding down, which can prevent restful sleep. Taking the TV out of the bedroom or reducing our screen time before bed can contribute to more restful sleep.[3And if you must use screens before bed, wearing blue-light-blocking glasses while viewing them can help prevent the light from preventing your brain from winding down into sleep once you’re ready.

Alternative Relaxation Techniques for Better Sleep

There are countless options you can choose to wind down before bed. Reading, yoga, meditation, journaling [6], and listening to that playlist that soothes you are just a few ideas. Having a wind-down activity allows the mind to relax instead of focusing on things we need to do later. 

Sleep’s Restorative Functions

Now that we have our sleep routine laid out let’s get into what sleep does for the body. It’s all about recovery! While we sleep, our body is guided into various phases, including the readjustment of our endocrine system, which is responsible for regulating our hormones, the secretion of hormones that aid in repairing our cells, a decreased heart rate, and balancing our mental health. [5]

The Impact of Stress on Sleep

One of the most predominant factors that negatively impact sleep is stress. As we experience stress, a stress hormone called cortisol is released, disrupting our relaxation into sleep. Stress plays a direct role in prolonging the time it takes to fall asleep and causes bursts of awakening during sleep. To help manage stress levels before bedtime, we can journal about our day, use essential oils for aromatherapy, and ensure that our sleep space is a clean space and night-time meditation. [2]

Consistency: The Road to Better Sleep

Having a sleep routine allows your body to relax, effectively progress through sleep cycles, and recover from the day [1]. Click here for an ebook download with more tips and strategies!