Ways to Maintain a Healthy Sleep Cycle

Let's be real.. We all lack quality sleep most nights because of our busy days. Trust me, I struggle with the same problem! I am a nursing student... I don't think any of us even get our recommended hours of sleep most nights of the week!

While it may be hard to find time to sleep, I have developed the best plan for myself to increase my sleep time and regulate my sleep cycle. With these easy tips, you can find a bunch of ways to increase your beauty sleep at night!

  • Change into your COMFIEST PJ's & socks, turn your fan on and cover yourself in your coziest blanket in your house! Night routine's are essential to the regular secretion of melatonin.
  • Place some Lavender essential oil on your pillow. I like to shower and place a couple drops of lavender in my hair so every time I get a smell of my hair, it makes me feel dreamy! (I will soon talk about wonderful uses lavender can bring to your life, stay tuned)
  • Turn off your phone, tablet and laptop, turn on your bedside lamp and get out your favorite book! Reading calms your mind from the thoughts and busyness from your life. 
  • Avoid watching TV!! I can not stress this enough!
  • Make a cup of hot tea or warm milk before bed, but do not overeat during dinner time and stay hydrated during the day, read about the importance of water here!
  • Create a sleep pattern by going to bed and waking up around the same time everyday.
  • Be active during the day. To learn more about the importance of exercise and activity, read my post here. I was chilling around the house HARD CORE a couple of days ago and ended up going to bed past 1am (which I haven't done in a couple years) because I did not have any activity in my day and was not tired. Talk about lack of sleep..

My personal nighttime routine

I love my nighttime routine; I typically go to bed around 10 on school night and wake up around 7am depending on the day. Some of my sweet classmates and friends like to laugh at my early evenings, but I very highly appreciate my nighttime routine, that I just can't skip it! So here are the things I seem to do almost every evening to get ready for bed:

  • Shower or wash my face & body, put lotion on almost every part of my body because who doesn't love moisturized skin, and face moisturizer on.
  • Brush my teeth, take out contacts, pluck eyebrows, etc. 
  • Put on my chosen comfy PJ's of the night. I value comfy PJ's and you can see me wearing a giant t-shirt and sleeping shorts almost every night. 
  • I take a vitamin and drink an entire GIANT glass of water before crawling into bed.
  • I never forget to roll some lavender onto my pillow or wrists before leaving the bathroom as well.
  • Sometimes I even put on soft music to listen to before pulling my covers down and crawling into bed.
  • I plug EVERYTHING into a charger so I am prepared and ready to go the next day.
  • Finally, I crawl into bed and pull out my chosen book for the week that I want to read. I typically read for 15 minutes before turning on my bedside lamp and setting my alarm.  

Melatonin Supplements

I must talk about these synthetic hormone supplements while we are on this topic.. If any of you have ever heard my rant about these supplements, you may understand why I had to hit on this topic. 

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by your brain, the pineal gland, and is helps regulate your sleep (circadian) cycle. Melatonin helps your body become sleepy and thus helps you fall asleep. While melatonin may help you fall asleep, it doesn't necessarily help you STAY asleep. 

My personal issue with melatonin supplements is the dependence they can create - no not like a drug. Melatonin supplements taken on a regular basis can cause your brain to be tricked into thinking it doesn't need to secrete melatonin as much, so your body does not become drowsy at night as it is suppose to, thereby producing the inclination to take another melatonin supplement. 

As you can probably guess, this causes an endless cycle of an unregulated sleep cycle. 

Now, if your doctor prescribes or recommends these supplements, follow your regimen. There are many reasons and explainations for using these supplements. But that is just my PERSONAL preference.