1. Dim the lights
Human beings evolved with very little to no exposure to night time light. After sunset, darkness would gently signal to the body that it was time to start winding down and prepare for sleep. These days, with city living and our fondness for television, Kindle, and Ipads, we’re constantly exposed to bright light during our waking hours. A simple way to help your body wind down in the evening is to dim the lights after dinner and use only minimal lighting.
2. Do an Electronic Detox
Our constant use of personal electronics exposes us to an overabundance of information that our mind must process. Exposure to stressful or thought provoking information activates the sympathetic nervous system which creates an influx of stress hormones throughout the body. These stress hormones increase our heart rate and blood pressure which can interfere with good quality sleep. Avoid using all electronics (TV, computer, cell phone) for at least one hour before bed. Use this time to read a novel, take a bath, chat with a loved one, do some deep breathing or journaling.
3. Make your room DARK
Our bodies produce a hormone called melatonin while we sleep. Melatonin is important for helping us get a good night’s sleep and wake feeling refreshed and may even play a role in preventing certain types of cancer. The catch is that melatonin is only produced when we sleep in complete darkness. To help you sleep better, make sure that your bedroom is completely dark- you shouldn’t be able to see your hand in front of your face. If this proves difficult, invest in an organic cotton eye mask to wear to bed.