Living in a big city can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also pose significant challenges to getting a good night's rest. Amidst the constant hustle and bustle, finding calm and achieving quality sleep is crucial for maintaining your physical and mental health. While the city’s energy is contagious, it's vital to find ways to wind down and ensure that your body and mind get the rest they need.
Here are some tips to help you achieve better sleep in the heart of the urban jungle.
1. Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine
Consistency is key when it comes to sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours per night and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This regularity helps regulate your body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally.
Your life will involve lots of fun late nights, so be sure to keep the routine as much as you can so that when something fun pops up, you're full of energy to take part!
2. Try some Sleep Meditation Rituals
I'm a huge fan of the Sleepcasts from Headspace. They give you a story to focus on so that you can quiet your mind and stop intrusive thoughts from keeping you awake.
My favorite is Rainy Day Antiques. Here's a 30-Day Guest Pass for you to try it out (let me know what you think in the comments).
3. Create an Electronics-Free Bedroom
The blue light emitted by phones and tablets can interfere with your ability to fall asleep. If you can, leave electronics out of the bedroom, and if you need an alarm, opt for a traditional one instead of relying on your phone.
This small change can significantly improve your sleep quality, because not only are you removing the blue light, but you're also changing your reliance on technology and the constant searching that comes with that.
4. Use Hypoallergenic (Wool) Bedding for Comfort
Sleeping in wool can improve your sleep quality because woolen mattress toppers and woolen comforters regulate temperature effectively, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer, unlike down or synthetic materials that can cause overheating.
Opt for hypoallergenic materials like wool in your bedding. Wool is resistant to dust mites and bedbugs, common allergens that can disrupt sleep and cause health issues like asthma.
A good, supportive pillow can make a world of difference. Consider a woolen pillow, especially one that is height adjustable, to provide the right level of comfort and support for your neck and head.
And be sure to block out all the light of the city you can with a good quality sleep mask.
5. Implement a Pre-Sleep Routine
Develop a calming pre-sleep routine to help your body recognize that it’s time to wind down. This could include activities like reading a book, meditating, or listening to calming music. Think of it as a gradual landing rather than an abrupt stop.
Turn things off earlier than you normally would if you're having trouble calming down, and definitely don't engage in any Facebook arguments before lights-out.
6. Embrace the Power Nap
If you’re stretching your limits during the day, a short power nap in the afternoon can be incredibly rejuvenating. A 20-40 minute nap can help you regain energy for the rest of your day without disrupting your nighttime sleep routine.
Going to bed not-so-exhausted can make for a better quality sleep in the morning!
7. Avoid both Uppers and Downers Before Bed
Exercise and alcohol close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep cycle. Finish any workouts at least 1-2 hours before bed, and avoid alcohol, as it can lead to fragmented sleep. If you wake up in the night, try to relax with a sip of water and go back to sleep without stressing.
Remember, living in New York City doesn't mean sacrificing your sleep. By following these tips, you can enjoy the vibrant city life while still getting the restful sleep your body needs. Embrace these habits, and you'll find yourself more energized and ready to tackle whatever the city throws your way.