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Developing Sleep Habits: Part II

January 09, 20243 min read

Cultivating Better Sleep

In my last email I shared how poor sleep can impact your overall wellness. In today's email I'm going to share some of my favorite tips about how to begin improving your sleep.

Working on better sleep is like developing any other skills; you need to practice, practice, practice.



No electronics for one hour before bed. Our bodies are used to winding down when the sun goes down. Computers, TVs, cell phones and tablet screens stimulate the brain. This brain stimulation can keep us up at night telling our body to stay awake. By unplugging at night, you ensure both your mind and body are in a proper sleep state and are not being overstimulated.

If you must use your computer after the sun sets, we suggest you download flux, which is a program that adjusts a display's color temperature according to location and time of day. It is designed to reduce eye strain during night-time use. If you have an Apple device, turn on Night Shift (found under Settings - Display & Brightness).


Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Your body loves routines. If you are someone who gets up early during the week but sleeps in at the weekend, you are messing with your body's natural clock. As tough as it may seem, try to wake up early even on the weekends. Of course, there will be the occasional weekend where you are up much later than normal but try to stick to a strict bedtime and wake time as much as possible. You'll be surprised by how much more you can get done by sticking to this normal schedule.


Sometimes there is nothing more soothing than a nice bath or shower. It will calm you down and relax you right before bedtime. This can also act as a trigger for your body as it can associate an evening shower with going to sleep, helping you get into a deeper sleep quicker. Keep the temperature warm, not hot, as this will allow the body to cool better when you get out, signaling sleep.  


Perform some light stretching or soft tissue work, especially after a warm shower. Again, this type of activity will relax your body and can be very beneficial to your overall health. Make sure this is not aggressive stretching but nice gentle movements.


This final tip is one not enough people take advantage of but can be a game-changer if you struggle to fall asleep. Get a notebook and right before you go to sleep, write down everything that is going through your mind. We call this a brain dump. It doesn’t matter what you write, just get it out!

It might be an email you have to write in the morning or an errand you have to run. Maybe some thoughts from a meeting you had earlier in the day are still on your mind. If you don’t get these out of your head, they will be running through your mind all night, keeping you awake. Get it out on paper and forget about it! 


Use your bed only for sleeping. Try not to study or eat in your bed. This should be a place that as soon as you lay down, your body knows exactly what it should do. Doing too many activities in your bed can confuse your brain and keep it guessing. Remember, your body loves routines. 

I've given several suggestions to start working on your sleep skills. Like anything else, choose one or two and really master them and move on from there.

Cheers to making 2024 your best sleep year yet!


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Evolution Fitness & Wellness

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Evolution Fitness & Wellness

We specialize in fitness and wellness for active aging adults over 45.