With life as it is, we get busy, face life’s struggles and we try to overcome our stress on a daily basis. And after each long and busy day, who wouldn’t want to get a good night’s sleep? After all, having a well-rested body is a must as it directly affects our physical and mental health.
Yet, it’s undeniable that many of us find ourselves tossing and turning on the bed, struggling for hours to get a good night’s sleep. The good news is, making simple and important changes to your daytime routine and bedtime habits can help you achieve sound sleep during the night.
Let’s get to know some ways to help you sleep soundly at night.
Sleep Tip 1: Check your daytime routine
You daytime habits or activities can directly affect your sleep at night. So checking what you should do and you shouldn’t do during the day really makes a difference.
- Avoid intake of caffeine after lunch. That includes coffee, teas, sodas, energy drink and chocolates.
- Try to limit smoking close to bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol intake at least 6 hours before bedtime. You might think getting drunk before going to sleep helps, but you won’t get enough REM sleep.
- If you can’t avoid drinking coffee, limit it to maximum of 2 cups daily, of course before lunch.
- Don’t “sleep-in” on weekends and holidays. Keep a schedule.
- Have a fix schedule to going to bed and waking up. If you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule you’ll feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times, even if you only alter your sleep schedule by an hour or two.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. This include eating a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.
- Cut back on sugary foods and refined carbs
- Don’t schedule your regular exercise 3 hours before going to bed. Do it earlier.
- The more intense your exercise is, the better is the sleep benefits you can get. But light exercise like walking or jogging for around 10-20 minutes can also help improve your sleep.
- Afternoon naps are a good way to make up for lost sleep. But limit it to 15-20 minutes. Since having long afternoon naps can only make it hard for you to get a better sleep at night.
- Exposing yourself to bright sunlight during the day can actually help improve your sleep. It’s beneficial to spend some time outside during daylight or to let in natural sunlight into your house or office space, if possible.
Sleep Tip 2: Improve your pre-bedtime activities
You might be surprised that some of your “before-sleep” activities actually worsen your inability to sleep. So, it would be a good thing to know which ones you should stop doing or the least, avoiding when possible.
- Avoid electronic devices e.g. cellular phones, tablets, laptop even TV at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Go to sleep no later than 3 hours after dinner.
- Don’t eat a large meal 3 hours before bedtime, but you shouldn’t also go to bed hungry.
- Avoid drinking too many liquids before sleeping. It will cause you to get up and do bathroom trips frequently which will disrupt your sleep.
- Stop worrying about your issues or problems before going to bed. Save it for tomorrow when there’s something that you can actually do. For the time-being, sleep is much more important. You can do a lot more and attend to your problems better if you are well-rested and mentally alert.
Sleep Tip 3: Give your room a sleep-friendly environment
Having a relaxed and sleep-stimulating room helps you achieve a deeper level of rest during the night. Here’s a few tips for improving your surroundings.
- Ensure your room is dark during bedtime. You may want to ensure that you can move around safely though so using a nightlight would be a good idea.
- Keep noise down! It may sound impossible to do in some neighborhoods, so using a sound machine or earplugs may help.
- Keep your room temperature at around 65° F or 18° C. Being too cold or too hot will interfere with your sleep.
- Ensure your bed is comfortable enough for sound sleep.
Sleep Tip 4: Don’t force yourself to sleep.
Forcing yourself to sleep is not a good idea if you are trying to achieve quality sleep. Sleep should occur naturally. If it’s time for bed and you’re still not sleepy, these are some things you can do:
- Take a stroll. Walking for a few minutes outside the house can help you relax and stimulate sleep.
- Take a warm bath. Some people find that taking a bath helps them achieve good sleep. Not only does it freshens you up but like strolling, it also helps your body feel relaxed.
- Listen to soft music or read some books while keeping the room lights dim.
Sleep Tip 5. Learn to get back to sleep
You may sometimes find yourself waking up briefly in the middle of the night. But if you find it hard to get back to sleep, try some relaxation techniques.
- Deep breathing. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up to the top of your head.
- Visualizing a peaceful, restful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place that’s calming and peaceful. Concentrate on how relaxed this place makes you feel.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get both more sleep and also a deeper sleep. Sound sleep is extremely important for stress management and overall health. Have some more sleep tips for us? We’d love to hear more in the comments. Goodnight!