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Sleep Skills: 8 Tips for a Healthier Night of Sleep

By ‌Elizabeth‌ ‌Marks,‌ ‌MSWI‌ ‌

Every‌ ‌blog,‌ ‌doctor,‌ ‌and‌ ‌podcast‌ ‌preaches‌ ‌one‌ ‌thing‌ ‌for‌ ‌skin,‌ ‌weight‌ ‌loss,‌ ‌mental‌ ‌health,‌ ‌gut‌ ‌health,‌ ‌even‌ ‌to‌ ‌strengthen‌ ‌relationships…‌ ‌SLEEP.‌ ‌This‌ ‌skill‌ ‌we‌ ‌are‌ ‌born‌ ‌with‌ ‌seems‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌lost‌ ‌on‌ ‌us‌ ‌as‌ ‌we‌ ‌age.‌ ‌Laying‌ ‌down‌ ‌and‌ ‌running‌ ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌list‌ ‌of‌ ‌tomorrow’s‌ ‌activities‌ ‌or‌ ‌getting‌ ‌stuck‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌Tik‌ ‌Tok‌ ‌hole‌ ‌for‌ ‌two‌ ‌hours‌ ‌is‌ ‌not‌ ‌helping‌ ‌you‌ ‌shut‌ ‌off‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌end‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌night.‌

Some‌ ‌ideas‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌better‌ ‌night’s‌ ‌sleep:‌

1.‌ ‌Plug‌ ‌your‌ ‌phone‌ ‌in‌ ‌across‌ ‌the‌ ‌room‌ ‌and‌ ‌put‌ ‌it‌ ‌on‌ ‌“do‌ ‌not‌ ‌disturb”.‌ ‌We‌ ‌are‌ ‌all‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌routine‌ ‌of‌ ‌turning‌ ‌to‌ ‌that‌ ‌tiny‌ ‌screen‌ ‌all‌ ‌day‌ ‌long.‌ ‌If‌ ‌it‌ ‌takes‌ ‌even‌ ‌a‌ ‌minute‌ ‌to‌ ‌fall‌ ‌asleep,‌ ‌we‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌tempted‌ ‌to‌ ‌grab‌ ‌the‌ ‌screen‌ ‌and‌ ‌start‌ ‌scrolling.‌ ‌

2.‌ ‌Embrace‌ ‌silence.‌ ‌Have‌ ‌a‌ ‌minute‌ ‌of‌ ‌gratitude‌ ‌or‌ ‌reflection‌ ‌before‌ ‌closing‌ ‌your‌ ‌eyes‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌night.‌ ‌Falling‌ ‌asleep‌ ‌to‌ ‌music‌ ‌or‌ ‌TV‌ ‌can‌ ‌distract‌ ‌us‌ ‌from‌ ‌taking‌ ‌a‌ ‌moment‌ ‌to‌ ‌ourselves.‌ ‌

3.‌ ‌Say‌ ‌goodnight.‌ ‌Do‌ ‌you‌ ‌text‌ ‌or‌ ‌talk‌ ‌to‌ ‌someone‌ ‌all‌ ‌day?‌ ‌By‌ ‌saying‌ ‌goodnight‌ ‌you‌ ‌end‌ ‌the‌ ‌conversation‌ ‌and‌ ‌won’t‌ ‌be‌ ‌worried‌ ‌about‌ ‌missing‌ ‌a‌ ‌text‌ ‌or‌ ‌a‌ ‌call.‌ ‌

4.‌ ‌Body‌ ‌scan.‌ ‌Take‌ ‌a‌ ‌minute‌ ‌to‌ ‌take‌ ‌stock‌ ‌in‌ ‌your‌ ‌body.‌ ‌From‌ ‌the‌ ‌crown‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌head‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌tip‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌toes,‌ ‌take‌ ‌a‌ ‌moment‌ ‌to‌ ‌think‌ ‌about‌ ‌how‌ ‌you‌ ‌are‌ ‌feeling.‌ ‌

5.‌ ‌Find‌ ‌a‌ ‌routine.‌ ‌We‌ ‌all‌ ‌do‌ ‌better‌ ‌when‌ ‌we‌ ‌know‌ ‌what’s‌ ‌coming‌ ‌next.‌ ‌Find‌ ‌timing‌ ‌that‌ ‌works‌ ‌for‌ ‌you.‌ ‌It‌ ‌doesn’t‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌down‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌minute,‌ ‌but‌ ‌maybe‌ ‌washing‌ ‌your‌ ‌face‌ ‌earlier‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌night‌ ‌feels‌ ‌better‌ ‌than‌ ‌waiting‌ ‌30‌ ‌seconds‌ ‌before‌ ‌you‌ ‌jump‌ ‌under‌ ‌the‌ ‌covers.‌ ‌

6.‌ ‌Put‌ ‌down‌ ‌the‌ ‌afternoon‌ ‌cup‌ ‌of‌ ‌coffee.‌ ‌Our‌ ‌consumption‌ ‌routine‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌off‌ ‌while‌ ‌we‌ ‌are‌ ‌working‌ ‌just‌ ‌steps‌ ‌away‌ ‌from‌ ‌our‌ ‌kitchen.‌ ‌Try‌ ‌to‌ ‌limit‌ ‌your‌ ‌caffeine‌ ‌intake‌ ‌or‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌cut‌ ‌off‌ ‌time‌ ‌after‌ ‌which‌ ‌you‌ ‌won’t‌ ‌drink‌ ‌any‌ ‌caffeinated‌ ‌beverages.‌ ‌

7.‌ ‌Cut‌ ‌the‌ ‌napping.‌ ‌During‌ ‌quarantine,‌ ‌I’ve‌ ‌found‌ ‌friends‌ ‌saying‌ ‌that‌ ‌during‌ ‌a‌ ‌lunch‌ ‌hour‌ ‌or‌ ‌after‌ ‌an‌ ‌intense‌ ‌workout‌ ‌they’ll‌ ‌lay‌ ‌down‌ ‌or‌ ‌take‌ ‌a‌ ‌quick‌ ‌snooze.‌ ‌Leave‌ ‌your‌ ‌bed‌ ‌for‌ ‌bedtime.‌ ‌

8. Invest in a real alarm clock. The iPhone alarm haunts all our dreams. Find something aesthetically pleasing to wake up to and start your day off on the right note.

Sleep is an easy gift to give yourself, and you have the ability to treat yourself every single day. Find solace in the moments that allow you to recharge.