Everyone wants a restful, uninterrupted nights sleep. There are few things in the world that bring the joy of waking up knowing the last night’s sleep has prepared you to conquer the day.
Here are my tips on how to get a better nights sleep!
- Get in a Routine: Do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day. Your body’s clock will get in the routine of knowing when is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up, making it much easier to fall asleep at night and get up in the morning.
- Get off the Couch: By regularly exercising, your body will benefit more from the sleep you get each night. Exercise will also increase time spent in deep REM sleep, which is the most important part of the sleep cycle.
- Clean Up Your Diet: By avoiding alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and large meals before bed, your body will thank you with a more restful sleep. It will help you fall asleep faster and have a more regular sleep cycle.
- Meditate Before Bed: By clearing your head of the distractions of everyday life, your body will be more at ease when you go to sleep. Take a moment to yourself and focus on nothing. It will relax you and prepare you for a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep.
- Sleep in the Right Environment: Make your bedroom a place of rest. That means eliminating anything that makes unnecessary sounds, having a bed that fits your needs, whether it be firm or soft, and keeping your bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
- Avoid Long Naps: Extended naps during the day can seriously mess with your sleep schedule. Cap your nap at 15-20 minutes. Those short power naps will energize you without causing you to still feel awake at bedtime.
- Kick Out the Pets: When you let your bed sleep in your bed, you invite all kinds of obstacles to a good nights sleep. You could react to pet allergies or have to deal with their movement throughout the night.
- Late Night Drinks: Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or warm milk before bed. Both of these contribute to either the production of or releasing of serotonin or melatonin, both crucial factors when falling asleep and staying asleep.
In order to get the most out of your sleep, you need to make it a priority. When you make sleep your priority, you will end up feeling more refreshed throughout the day and will be more productive overall. Here are just a few things you can do to make sleep a priority.
- Take the time to look at how you sleep. Is your bedroom a dark, safe, relaxing place? Are your mattress and pillows comfortable? Do they give you enough support? If you find yourself saying “no” to any of these questions, it may be time to reevaluate your sleep environment. On average, a mattress should be replaced every seven years and pillows should be replaced every year.
- Look around your bedroom. What distractors are there that keep you from getting the sleep you need? Take out anything work related, especially things that create stress. You should also avoid using your smartphone, laptop, tablet or television for at least an hour before bed as well. The backlight in those objects lead to the release of chemicals that tell your body it is daytime, making it significantly harder to fall asleep.
- Make sure that if you are going to drink caffeine, you don’t do it later in the day. I try not to have any caffeine after lunch to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact my sleep.
- While many think it’s no big deal to have a couple alcoholic drinks in the evening, alcohol can actually have a huge negative impact on the quality of sleep.
- Take shorter naps! It has been shown that taking 20-30 minute naps during the day can seriously increase your work productivity and alertness without disrupting your sleep schedule in any serious way. So close that office door and kick back for a few minutes every afternoon!
There are many more ways to help improve sleep quality, but these are some of the most important. If you are serious about improving sleeping habits, do more research to find out other ways you could be getting better, more effective sleep!