Body & Soul: Keep Calm and Sleep On
Wake up on the right side of the bed by following these tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
Up all night tossing and turning? You’re not alone. According to the American Sleep Association, up to 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. The main culprit behind these restless nights is, typically, stress. “When you’re in the world that we’re in, there’s so much to do and so much to get done,” explains Robert Michael deStefano, sleep expert and managing director at Longeva, a sleep wellness brand. “This has a particular effect on our body and mind—chemically, emotionally, and physiologically.” Because of our go-go culture, it’s challenging to forget about the stressors of the day when we crawl into bed, which makes getting quality rest a challenge.
That’s why deStefano says it is crucial for us to redefine bedtime through decompression. “It’s a process of reversing and creating a different state of consciousness,” he says. To get into a sleep-ready state, try these five ideas to help you unwind and bring on the zzzzzs.
Set The Mood
It’s important to start transitioning from work mode to relax mode well before you get under the covers. “There should be a consciousness of chilling down the environment,” explains deStefano. “The lights should be dimmed, the volume of the TV should be lowered, and if you’re on your laptop, bring down the brightness level.” Setting a regular time each night to unwind helps lower stress and get you in the right headspace.
Create A Ritual
When you’re about to go to bed, stick to a consistent pre-sleep routine. What it involves depends on what relaxes you: It could be taking a hot bath, gently stretching out, applying a pampering face mask, or reading a few chapters in a book. Whatever you choose, it should mentally calm you down—this signals your brain that you’re about to go to sleep. This is also the time to sip on herbal tea or take a homeopathic sleep remedy (just make sure to consult your doctor first).
While scrolling social media may seem mindless, it actually stimulates your brain, causing a spike in cortisol, which makes it even harder to relax. “This concept of being still and being by ourselves within our own heads is very foreign to us,” says deStefano, of why it’s even more crucial to unplug. Plus, the blue light from any device makes it difficult to fall asleep. Try powering off technology at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Keep your phone off your nightstand (or, even better, out of your bedroom altogether) and invest in an alarm clock. This prevents the temptation to pick it up and check it as you’re trying to fall asleep.
Soothe Your Senses
Keep the relaxing vibes flowing by calming your senses. This decompression lets the thoughts of the day bubble up, getting them out of the way, so you don’t wake up at one in the morning thinking about them. Invest in good blinds or blackout shades to simulate total darkness and turn on a sound machine or soft music. You might also try applying a soothing essential oil to your temples or spritzing your pillow with a lavender-scented spray.
Try A Sleep Treatment
For the ultimate experience, book the Sleep Ritual Massage at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando. DeStefano helped design the treatment that will help you achieve peak sleep-readiness through music, massage, and botanicals. It provides you with the basic steps of getting a good night’s sleep, and you’re even given an at-home sleep kit to boost your bedtime routine.