Preparing for a new day starts with the day and night before. Although most would say that you should get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, everyone’s body is different, and with that, each person’s sleep requirements vary. If you’re an 8-hour sleeper - awesome! If you’re a 5-7 hour sleeper like me, read below for tips and strategies. If you think you’re a 3-4 hour sleeper, then I would recommend you prioritize getting more sleep! Whether it's because of stress, work, or life in general, everyone encounters times when our sleep is out of our control, but sleep is extremely important, so it should be somewhere on everyone’s list of priorities. I’ll talk more in a bit about ways to make you feel less tired throughout the day.
Sometimes we just lay in our bed in our thoughts and continually wonder when we'll fall asleep. As a kid, and even now, I will listen to music that I know will put me in a more relaxed state. Put down the bright phone screen (or if you have to be on it, use your phone’s night shift and turn down the brightness), turn off the Netflix, and don’t forget to breathe.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Foam roll: Bodily tension may make it harder to fall asleep. You want your body to feel relaxed so that your muscles can better regenerate as you sleep, and foam rolling is a perfect way to release any tension you may be holding from the day. Think about getting a massage - how easy is it to fall asleep after? (Source: https://www.fab-ent.com/foam-rolling-better-sleep/)
Set your alarm - use a song that you'd be happy to wake up to instead of the preset noises your iPhone or Android comes with.
WHILE IN BED
- Breathe: try deep breathing to calm your nerves. Deep (belly) breathing stimulates the “rest and digest” portion of your autonomic nervous system, thus slowing your heart rate, lowering your blood pressure, and allowing your mind to relax. Check out the article below for some deep breathing exercises (Source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/18735-deep-breathing-exercises-sleep/)
- Cuddle with your significant other- nothing is better than falling asleep with your boo
- Single? No problem- more space to spread out
- Have a pet? If you’re open to it, allow them to sleep with you. Though the evidence isn’t conclusive, some studies have shown that animal-human co-sleeping can improve sleep quality.
THE NEXT MORNING
- As you wake up from your alarm, do NOT snooze! Let your song play out. This will allow you to wake up slowly, as opposed to snoozing and rushing when you’re finally out of bed.
- As your song plays, stretch while in bed. We tend to hold positions for long periods of time while sleeping, and this can cause the muscles that are shortened in these positions to become tight. (Source: https://www.prevention.com/fitness/do-these-stretches-before-getting-out-of-bed/slide/2)
- After getting out of bed, hit about 5 squats before you head to the bathroom and do your thing: brush your teeth, wash your face, etc.
- Try to drink a large (16oz) glass of water within 15 minutes of waking up, then don’t be afraid to follow it up with your favorite morning beverage, coffee, tea, or juice. Starting the morning with water will rehydrate you and stimulate your metabolism
Starting your day off with a routine like this will allow you to maintain your energy levels throughout the day. Now, the hard part expect the unexpected. There are days when work, life, and the world around us can be quite stressful, and this can affect our emotions. Stress is a part of the American adult lifestyle, plain and simple; we must try different ways to cope with it until we know what works.
DURING THE DAY / END OF THE DAY
Continue to breathe! Calm your mind. If you’re feeling stressed at a given moment, try a five-second inhale through the nose, allowing the air to fill your belly, followed by a seven-second exhale
Exercise! Get your butt in the gym to release some pent-up stress
Plan ahead and make a playlist to listen to in times of stress - music can be a great stress reliever
Talk to people! Call a friend or family member, or talk to a co-worker. Human interaction can really go a long way, and it’ll allow you to air out any frustration or stress you may be feeling. Keeping these things internalized can allow them to take over your entire psyche. Getting these things out in the open will put them into perspective, and can make them seem more manageable
Help someone in need. Whatever it is, make someone else’s day better, and yours will be too.
Hopefully, these tips helped you reset your body for a new day. Below, I've attached a playlist that personally energizes me. Find the tunes, sounds, people, places, and things that ignite that spark in you.