Who else feels their sleep routine goes a bit haywire when life gets busy? It’s hard to stick to good sleep habits when schedules shift between seasons, parties pop up, and work goes bonkers. But don’t lose hope for solid ZZZs just yet! With handy tools like aromatherapy, diet tweaks, and mindful napping, you can outsmart sleep struggles.

1. Sync With Natural Light Cycles

With short days and long winter nights, our exposure to natural light decreases, impacting our sleep-wake cycle. A 2023 study suggests embracing natural light to maintain your circadian rhythm. Try starting your mornings with some sunlight, whether that means having your coffee by the windowsill, taking a brief walk outside, or using a light therapy lamp to mimic sunlight.

2. Aromatherapy for Sleep

The power of scent can have a profound impact on sleep quality. Consider using seasonal essential oils like pine, cinnamon, or orange. These scents not only create a tranquil atmosphere but also promote relaxation, enhancing sleep quality.

3. Create a Custom Sleep Playlist

Create a customized sleep playlist. Incorporate slow, soothing versions of your favorite songs. Music therapy has been recognized for its effectiveness in improving sleep quality, with a focus on calming melodies and rhythms.  

4. Embrace the Temperature  

Just because the temperature is cooler during certain times of the year doesn’t mean you should overheat your bedroom. Studies have proven that increased body and bedroom temperature can decrease sleep quality and increase wakefulness.

5. Be Intentional About Napping

Gatherings and late nights can disrupt sleep, so why not embrace napping? But here’s the twist: practice “mindful napping.” Set a 20-minutes timer, and before dozing off, engage in a brief mindfulness or gratitude exercise. This can enhance the quality of your nap and leave you feeling refreshed.

6. Manage Situational Stress

Coming back to work after the holidays can be exhausting. It almost feels like you need a vacation from your vacation. If adulting has you feeling stressed, it can easily disrupt your sleep. Engage in activities to relieve situational stress strains, like crafting or decorating. These activities not only provide an outlet but also serve as therapeutic methods to calm the mind before bed.

7. Diet Tweaks for Better Sleep

We all know to avoid caffeine and alcohol for better sleep, but also try incorporating sleep-promoting foods into meals. Tart cherries, almonds, and foods containing tryptophan may aid in a better night’s rest, but the list of sleep-promoting foods goes on.

When life speeds up and disrupts sleep cycles, small changes like light therapy and soothing music can realign your rhythms. Consistently using these tools balances the effects of shifting seasons, busy events, and work stress so you wake refreshed. Committing to healthy sleep habits pays off for your mind and body, no matter how hectic the daily grind.

(Image: Unsplash)

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The Nutritious Life Editors are a team of healthy lifestyle enthusiasts who not only subscribe to — and live! — the 8 Pillars of a Nutritious Life, but also have access to some of the savviest thought leaders in the health and wellness space — including our founder and resident dietitian, Keri Glassman. From the hottest trends in wellness to the latest medical science, we stay on top of it all in order to deliver the info YOU need to live your most nutritious life.

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