The last several months of COVID lockdown cycles have thrown many of our routines into disarray. As you adjusted to new work conditions or to changes in your children’s school schedules, you had to adapt your habits as well. Your old routine was built for a pre-COVID world where you could go to the gym whenever you wanted and have a clear idea of where you would be from week to week.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our community has flourished. We saw so many people use this global crisis as an opportunity to reevaluate their goals and to make lasting, vibrant changes in their Habits of Health. Seeing our coaches and clients rally to be drivers of positive change in the world has been incredible.
Even though we have seen amazing things happen, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still challenges. One Habit of Health is particularly easy to overlook: Habits of Healthy Sleep.
Whether it was from shifts in your schedule or the deluge of the 24-hour news cycle, if you found that your sleep was less restful and that it was difficult to keep your bedtime, you are not alone.
And here’s how you can get your sleep back on track:
- Seriously a bedtime by working backward from when you plan to wake up. You need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, so if you need to be at 6 A.M. for work, you should be in bed by 10 P.M. the night before.
- Revisit your relaxation routine. An hour before bedtime, turn off your phone, step away from the television, dim the lights, and start to calm your mind. Running a warm bath, reading a book, and meditating are great ways to start preparing for sleep.
- Drink more water and less caffeine. The half-life of caffeine can mean that your afternoon cup of coffee is still in your system when you go to bed at night, so if you do need caffeine, stick to morning hours only.
- Avoid long naps. A brief “power nap” is perfectly healthy, but if you nap for long periods of time, you are likely to struggle falling asleep at night.
- Use sleep aids if you need to. A sleep mask to block out light can help you fall asleep more quickly, and it’s okay to use a little bit of melatonin (if your healthcare provider approves) to get your sleep back on track. Stick to your schedule, though, so you won’t need it every night!
- Monitor your sleep. Listen to your body and pay attention to your sleep habits. If you aren’t feeling rested or are struggling to fall asleep, talk to your coach! Sleep is a big part of the Habits of Health Transformational System, and there may be other changes you can make that would help.
Healthy sleep is a cornerstone of optimal wellbeing, so if reading this made you realize that your Habits of Healthy Sleep are not as strong as they could be, start practicing! A night of restful sleep will make each day easier and more enjoyable, and you’ll unlock several other benefits along the way.