You know that amazing feeling you have when you wake up knowing you’ve gotten plenty of good, rejuvenating sleep? Bad news is, this type of rest is often limited to the weekends, or, for the extremely busy, holidays or vacations. Here’s the good news: small changes to your current habits could be the missing element to getting this type of sleep 365 days a year.
The following three switches might lead to more ZZZs, less caffeine, and feeling better overall.
Switch: Device screen protectors for blue light blocking shields
We tend to keep our cell phones, tablets, and laptops close to us at all times, and that usually means even in bed at night. What does this have to do with sleep? These devices emit blue light, which is apparently pretty good during the day, but pretty bad at night. According to a Harvard study, light at night, particularly blue light, is disruptive to circadian rhythms, causing us to get less sleep.
Sleep Shield has created blue light blocking shields, similar to the typical thin screen protectors used on cell phones and tablets, that they say reduces blue light exposure to the user. The shields are removable and can be reapplied, but you might as well let them do double duty as a screen protector as well. Limiting the use of these devices at night altogether is a great idea, but if that’s out of the question for you, these screens may help to decrease their negative effects.
Available at Sleepshield.com
Switch: Thin, perfumed lotions for essential oils
If you already have the ritual of applying lotion pre-bedtime, this will be an easy switch to incorporate into your routine. Perfumed lotions, while fragrantly pleasant, tend to be quite thin and provide little benefit beyond skin moisturizing. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, evidence suggests that lavender can promote sleep and relaxation and has been used for centuries as an herbal cure for insomnia, headaches, and upset stomach.
Lavender essential oil can be added to your favorite super-emollient, unscented lotion to reap these sleep- and relaxation-inducing benefits in a pure and natural way. dōTERRA has a full line of therapeutic-grade essential oils, including a lovely lavender option, to help enhance your life with unadulterated products. Add a few drops to your lotion before applying on your arms, legs, neck, and anywhere else you like. The pleasant scent can help you unwind and get more sound and relaxing rest.
Available at dōTERRA.com and dōTERRA wellness advocate spas everywhere.
Switch: Agitating buzzer alarms for dawn simulating clocks
If you’re like me, the sound of a buzzing alarm can be irritating and nerve-wracking. Why, then, do so many of us choose to start our mornings with them? Some opt to use their cell phones as alarms and, in doing so, are provided with more pleasant alarm options; but there is yet another way you can choose to start your day.
Dawn simulation light therapy is used to gradually wake a person with light that increases in brightness as it approaches your wake-up time. An option I like is the Philips Wake-Up Light that uses both light and sound, and, according to the company, is clinically proven to wake you up with an “improved mood and energy level.” It also comes with “sunset simulation” to help you drift off to sleep at night making this the second item on our list to fulfill two functions.
I personally like the idea of simulating those Sundays when I get to wake up to light shining through my window, even on the days I’m getting up before the crack of dawn. As far as aesthetics are concerned, the device itself is a bit futuristic-looking but quite easy on the eyes, perfect for any bedroom décor.