Resting Better Than The Rest
The bridge between sleep and the rest of our evening can be fraught with peril for those of us trying to live a healthy lifestyle. We work hard all day, conforming to schedules, rules, and routines, but at the end of the day many of us find that all of that structure suddenly goes away. For most of us, this is by design; this is the Me Time that we’ve “earned” after a difficult, draining day.
So we slip into our most comfortable outfit, grab our food and/or alcoholic vices of choice, and plop down in front of some sort of screen that offers reprieve from the controlled chaos of our mornings and afternoons. We are officially done with today. This feels good…but is it good for us?
While we all feel the need to just let go from time to time, a let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may attitude toward your nighttime routine might leave you feeling even more worn down (especially if the chips are the potato or tortilla kind). Be sure to practice mindfulness in your actions and try these tips for a month and see if it improves your overall mood and health.
Set a bedtime.
You’re an adult now so having a set bedtime might seem like your parents exerting some lasting remnant of control over you, but keeping a regular sleep schedule is good for your body. Schedule yourself for at least 7 hours a night to ensure your body and mind have time to recharge.
Beware the midnight snack.
You have probably heard that eating before bed is bad for you, but you still find yourself giving into temptation more often than you’d like to admit. Don’t beat yourself up over this, as it might lead to even more eating, but try to be smart about what you let yourself eat. Eating a small, nutrient-dense snack (something around 150 calories) with protein and/or fiber and a glass of water is a wise choice. Make sure you put all the food away and leave the kitchen before eating your snack to make it more difficult to eat more.
Cut the screen time.
While Netflix and Hulu are great ways to catch up on old shows, staring at a bright screen is basically the opposite of falling asleep, right? If you are going to watch something, set an episode limit and be sure to leave yourself a buffer between the end of the show and your scheduled bedtime, as your mind will need to wind down. Try finding something less engrossing than Fit815 Magazine to read and put it down when your eyelids begin to droop.