SPRING Cleaning Tips for Better Sleep
Flourishing blooms, chirping birds and the sunny brilliance of warmer weather – spring is almost here and we’re counting down the days. We’ve seen record amounts of snowfall this winter, and after months of freezing temperatures the upcoming change of season can’t come soon enough.
For many of us, the reawakening of nature has a stronger association with flower beds than it does with your actual bed. This year, we’re adding a few new items to our spring-cleaning list to refresh our nighttime habits and reinvigorate a healthy lifestyle (which were, perhaps, part of our likely forgotten New Year’s resolutions).
To help you remember these sleep tips, we’ve made it easy – here are my S.P.R.I.N.G. cleaning tips for healthy sleep:
S – Say ‘No’ to late-night snacking. Eating too close to your bedtime can make it more difficult to fall asleep, and can even lead to weight gain. To avoid late night munchies, eat well-balanced meals throughout the day. And if you can’t resist a late-night snack, stay away from the ice cream and chips and reach for complex carbohydrates like popcorn or fruit.
P – Power off before bed. Technology is unavoidable, and disconnecting can be seemingly impossible. However, checking your email or surfing the web before you go to bed actually stimulates your mind and sends a message to your brain to not produce melatonin, the chemical that tells your body to go to sleep. Prioritize sleep over email and deactivate your devices at least an hour before you go to bed.
R – Regulate your routine. Consistency is key. Regulating the amount of time you sleep each night, as well as being consistent with your bed and wake times, is essential for healthy sleep. Establish a routine to help your body know when it’s time to hit the sack, and aim for seven and a half hours of sleep each night.
I – Increase daily exercise. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who exercise get a better night’s sleep. In addition to lifting your mood, increasing productivity and improving your overall physical health, working out has a significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Whether you choose walking, CrossFit, Zumba or yoga, be sure to plan your exercise for at least three hours before bed so that your body has time to cool off before bed.
N – Nap smart. Did you know that 85 percent of mammals sleep for short periods throughout the day? Humans are part of the minority that divide days into two periods of sleeping and wakefulness. Short naps (20-30 minutes) can actually be beneficial to your overall health – they improve mood, alertness and productivity. Don’t wait to nap too late in the day though! A short snooze before bed can make it more difficult to slip into a sleepy slumber at your regular bedtime.
G – Get rid of your old mattresses. Spring cleaning is an annual rite of passage when the weather warms. While you are throwing out those ill-fitting jeans and sorting through that pile of mail that’s been there for months, check the tag on your mattress and toss it out if it’s older than eight years. Mattresses break down over time, collecting sweat, dead skin and dust mites. Telltale signs that your mattress is cluttering your sleep style include visible signs of wear and tear (sagging and lumps) and aches and pains when you wake up. And while springtime allergies may be causing those sneezes, it could also be the dust mites in your bed.
Which of these tips will be your biggest focus this spring? Share with me in the comments.