Incorporate a Weighted Blanket into Your Nightly Routine - 5 Tips to Sleep Better
Whether you sleep like a rock or not, we’ve all had those sleepless nights where we toss and turn for what seems like hours on end. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to consider exploring some interventions to improve your sleeping habits.
Maintaining positive sleeping habits is vital to your overall health and well being. The longer you let negative sleeping patterns continue, the more difficult it will be to change them. One of the best ways to sleep better is to establish a nightly routine that works with your needs. We all encounter different barriers to a great night’s sleep, and so finding a nightly routine that works for us can be a long and tedious process. Fear not, we’re here to help!
HERE ARE JUST A FEW BENEFITS OF A RELIABLE NIGHTLY ROUTINE:
Fall asleep easier and faster - Consistently incorporating a nightly routine means that you prepare yourself for bedtime. Think of how many things we do every day that require preparation; work meetings, family dinners, getting your kids to school. Sleep is exactly the same! Consistently moving through the steps of a routine will help your mind and body prepare for rest, and thus help you to feel ready to sleep when you finally make it to bed.
Stay asleep - The best part of preparation is that it reduces stress. We all know the cold sweats and anxiety that comes from going into a meeting or presentation completely unprepared - the same things happen during sleep. When you skip your routine, you miss out on the opportunity to lay the day’s challenges to rest and settle into a restful mindset. So, even after you’ve fallen asleep, your brain is basically working overtime, disrupting your sleep throughout the night.
- Feel better in the morning - Of course, the whole goal of a great night’s sleep is a great morning! The better you sleep, the more likely you are to have productive, enjoyable days and easier mornings.
So, where to begin - how do you establish a nightly routine and stick to it? Here are some places to start that will guarantee results
- Get a weighted blanket - You might be thinking this seems a little biased, and you’re 100% right. The purpose of a weighted blanket is to significantly improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, and we recommend that everyone incorporate it into their nightly routine. Weighted blankets rely on deep pressure therapy to work, and improve the functioning of your parasympathetic nervous system, which allows you to relax. It’s a simple, and easy way to guarantee yourself a better night’s sleep!
- Limit caffeine (obviously!) - When it comes to sleep, caffeine is your enemy. Try cutting out caffeine after lunch time to minimize its effects on your sleep.
No screens - Whether you work in an office or not, chances are you spend a good amount of your day looking at a screen. Your phone, tablet, television or computer all counts as screen time, and should be avoided for one to two hours before you go to bed. This is because blue light, which is emitted from the screens of your electronics, disrupts your circadian rhythm by tricking your brain into thinking it’s daytime (because of all the bright light!), making it harder to fall asleep.
Reflect on your day & plan for tomorrow - Taking some time to reflect on your day and plan ahead, even if it’s only 10 minutes, will help reduce any residual stress or anxiety.
- Curate a space that suits your needs - Some of us need a warm room and a night light to sleep, while others need a cool room and pitch darkness. Whatever your preferences, whether it’s lighting, noise level or bedding, make sure you’re being intentional about where you’re sleeping. Curate a space that invites you to get cozy and fall asleep, and you’ll have an easier time making it happen. (We’re looking at you, couch sleepers!)
MORE ABOUT THAT WEIGHTED BLANKET, YOU SAY?
We hear you loud and clear! Not to toot our own horn, but weighted blankets are kind of our thing. (And we want it to be your thing too!) Weighted blankets work so well because they target two key senses: your vestibular sense, or your sense of movement, and your proprioception, or your sense of body awareness. Together, these senses help you to maintain balance, move your body, and understand your position in relation to a space.
By focusing on these two senses during sleep, a weighted blanket provides the support and security necessary for your body to relax. For individuals that struggle with sleep, either in general or because of a pre-existing condition, getting your body to relax can be one of the primary barriers to deep, restful sleep. Weighted blankets can be especially helpful if you experience one or more of the following conditions: mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression, autism, restless leg syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome, panic disorders, sensory disorders or PTSD.
The added pressure provided by a weighted blanket can directly minimize the symptoms associated with each of these conditions and help to improve your quality of sleep overall. We recommend incorporating one into your nightly routine as a simple and easy solution. Remember, we all have different needs when it comes to sleep, so be patient with yourself and take the time to find a routine that works best for you!