It’s getting colder out people. Not just a little cold but literally the country is looking at one of the coldest winters EVER. And I’m not in much of a hurry going to sleep because I don’t want to get up the next day. It’s dark and cold when that alarm goes off and I’m not a morning person. AT all. Getting a good night’s sleep is already a challenge but it’s vital to have a productive day. They say adults need between seven and nine hours of quality sleep a night for good mental and physical health. Quality sleep is the key word here. So here’s some ways that will aid in having better rest this winter.

1. Avoid alcohol before bedtime. It might make you feel sleepy and you fall asleep but as alcohol metabolizes it disrupts your rest and it actually decreases your quality of sleep later on in the night. Avoid alcohol preferably four hours before going to bed.

2. Power down. I know you’ve heard this over and over but it’s true. Watching TV, looking at your computer or your phone/tablet actually increases physiological arousal thereby making it harder to fall asleep. Bright light suppresses melatonin, which is the hormone that promotes sleep. Instead turn off those electronics, pick up a book and read a few chapters.

3. Reset your body clock. Try opening up those curtains before you go to bed or during the winter buy yourself one of those alarms that gradually lights up for a natural sunrise effect. It really is a peaceful way to rise in the morning and I highly recommended. People love those black out curtains but it makes it more difficult to wake up in the mornings.

4. Stop eating large meals two to three hours before bedtime. I will admit this one is harder for me because I like to eat later and I like to snack. The body has to work to digest your meal and it doesn’t love digesting your meal when you’re lying down as it can cause disruption in your sleep. Instead of having a late night snack instead I have a nice calming tea like chamomile (or anything without caffeine) that fills me up a bit and winds me down.

5. Invest in quality bedding. Good sleep starts with a comfortable and cozy space to sleep in. Try flannel, silk or linen sheets. There are affordable options and you will immediately understand why it’s worth it the first time you sleep on them. If you want to up your mattress game, try a mattress topper. They are an inexpensive way to upgrade without making a huge investment. They even have them infused with essential oils like lavender and I’ve been told they are heavenly.

6. Stretch and relax. Try doing a nighttime yoga routine that only takes five to ten minutes. Remember to also concentrate on your breathing. As you breathe release those thoughts of the day, clear your mind and prepare for your best sleep. Ommmmmm.

Sleep well my friends.