Recently, I’ve been getting in bed early only to lay awake for hours trying and often failing to fall asleep. The next morning, I usually grumpily complain that “my mind wouldn’t shut up last night” and pray that my brain would be cooperative the next night.
I realized that my evening habits could be why my sleep schedule was off, not my overactive mind. These are some tried and true hacks I’ve discovered that give me that wonderful, restful night’s sleep I have been craving so badly.
Lowering screen time is often touted as the key to getting a good night’s sleep. Yet, if you are anything like me, I love to wind down with a good binge-worthy tv show or movie. So my solution? Blue light glasses. There are many affordable and effective options on Amazon that will help minimize your blue light intake before bed.
Tart cherry juice has an anti-inflammatory effect and is packed with nutrients. In my experience, one glass about an hour before bed works wonders. It is also delicious and, despite its name, not overly tart at all! My favorite brand is Cheribundi, which can be purchased at many grocery stores and on Amazon.
Find some fairy lights or some fresh scented candles that will make you feel like you are at a relaxing spa. The change in lighting will trick your body into entering relaxation mode, especially if you use them every night. The human body is extremely routine-driven so giving your body the same external cues every night may help you fall asleep faster.
Is working from home making you go a little stir-crazy? Try taking a 20–30 minute walk outside before or after dinner. It may give your digestive system a little help in digesting your evening meal, and it also might help your circadian rhythm adjust to the evening light. Once you get home, you can settle in and relax. Your body will hopefully start to feel tired, and your good night’s sleep will come naturally.
Melatonin supplements come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You can find gummies or tablets, and many brands vary in their dosage. One of the main benefits of melatonin is that it is non-addictive, meaning that your body won’t become dependent on it over time. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in your brain,so a supplement is only increasing the amount of hormone that your body naturally makes. However, it is important to do your research to find the supplement that will work for you.
Let us know in the comments if you add any of these hacks to your evening routine! Do you have any other tips and tricks to share that help improve your sleep?
About the author
Grace Bellman, Emory University BSc ‘21, NYU DPT’24
Grace is a senior at Emory University studying Anthropology & Human Biology, and she will be attending New York University next year to study Physical Therapy. Grace is also a NSCF Certified Personal Trainer and she is passionate about helping others improve their fitness and wellness knowledge. Grace is also committed to promoting a method of preventative healthcare, which allows people to take care of their bodies and prevent injuries before they happen. She is excited to be contributing to The Fit Atlanta blog and working as Marketing intern this semester.
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