Sweet Dreams & Sober Nights

Apr 02, 2024

Today, the demands of daily life can leave us exhausted and drained, and searching for a boost or way to cool off. Maybe both. However, while substances and altered states of mind have their time and place, we should strive to use them in a way that doesn’t interfere with our sleep schedule. We should strive for a perfect balance in our sleep habits - meaning we can enjoy the occasional libation while maintaining peaceful, restorative sleep. In this article, we will explore how you can achieve better quality sleep, and what may be holding you back.


How to Fix Sleep Schedule: Steps to Success

1. Clean Up Your Sleep Hygiene Practices

Cultivating good sleep hygiene means laying the groundwork for sweet dreams, every night. What exactly is sleep hygiene? It means locking down your sleep routine. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and optimizing your sleep environment. We have entire articles dedicated to optimizing your sleep space. In short, it means creating a clean, relaxing bedroom with high quality bedding and limited light pollution. It means creating a space where you’re actually at ease. In addition to a clean space, sleep hygiene includes setting a consistent bedtime and wake-up time to regulate your body's internal clock. It’s amazing how quickly your body will fall in line as soon as you implement basic sleep hygiene practices.

2. Limit Stimulants and Depressants: No More Sleeping with Alcohol or Nicotine

Sober nights means sober nights. Consider caffeine, alcohol and nicotine to be enemies of the state in the hours before bedtime. They disrupt your ability to fall and stay asleep. While nicotine and caffeine are more certainly stimulating, alcohol operates as a sleeper agent (no pun intended). Initially, it’ll make you feel drowsy, but it disrupts the later stages of your sleep, leading to fragmented sleep cycles and less restorative sleep. Forget the nightcap. Instead, choose non-caffeinated herbal teas or warm milk as soothing bedtime beverages.

3. Mindfulness and Stress Management: Scientific Research on Sleep Benefits

It’s important to understand that stress and anxiety are naturally incompatible with restfulness. Beginning to master relaxation and decompression techniques can be instrumental in achieving good sleep. Muscle relaxation practices like stretching and yoga can also help reduce stress before bed. Mindfulness practices like meditation or journaling can quiet the mind and calm you down before bedtime. It’s important to quiet the noise in your brain before bed.

4. Digital Detox

We’ve written extensively on the topic of blue light emitted by the screens of your smartphones, tablets, and computers. And we’re going to keep writing about it. It’s a silent killer of sleep quality because it interferes with melatonin production. How, you may ask, does a screen stop your body from producing melatonin? Because the blue light enters your body through your eyes and tricks it into thinking it's daytime. Establish a routine of stowing the screens at least an hour before bed. Instead of scrolling through social media or watching TV, engage in low-tech activities like reading a book, listening to calming music, or shooting the breeze with a loved one.

5. Trust Your Gut & Listen to Your Body

Finally, listen to your body's natural cues and rhythms when it comes to sleep. Pay attention to how certain foods, activities, or environments affect your sleep quality, and make adjustments accordingly. At the end of the day, your body knows what's up. If something isn’t working - whether it's the late-night snacks, the midnight Netflix binges, or the lumpy mattress – don't hesitate to make a change. Sleep is one of your most valuable assets, so guard it with everything you've got.

In truth, the vast majority of sleepers don’t need a sleep aid - especially one that plays tricks on you. Achieving sweet dreams is definitely within your reach as long as you're willing to prioritize your sleep hygiene and make mindful lifestyle choices. By cultivating healthy sleep habits, limiting substances that interfere with sleep, managing stress effectively, and tuning into your body's needs, you can enhance your sleep quality and enjoy all the myriad benefits of a restful night's sleep, every night. Take charge of your sleep today with our Six-Week Sleep Bootcamp.