We all know how one sleepless night can ruin the entire next day. Health experts keep telling us how important it is to get more sleep, but it seems to be easier said than done!
We have some tips that will help to regulate your sleep schedule for a more restful night, and healthier, happier days.
- Keep a dark bedroom.
Make sure there aren’t any electronic lights, or bright alarm clocks glowing. Close the shades to block outdoor lights. Ambient light can disrupt your shut-eye, so block it out.
- Reduce alcohol consumption before bedtime.
Although a glass of wine before bed might help with initially falling asleep, you most likely won’t stay stay there. Often alcohol will lead to tossing and turning later on, so stop any alcoholic drinks a few hours before you hit the sack. You can even try a mocktail instead!
- Avoid heavy meals.
It’s easy to go a bit overboard at dinner, but that extra digestion time after a meal can rev up your metabolism, which is not great for falling asleep. Opt for a lighter dish instead, or eat a little earlier.
- Make sure your room is at a comfortable temperature.
It shouldn’t be too hot, or too cold. In general, your bedroom temperature should be between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. When you’re beginning to fall asleep, your body temperature decreases slightly, so having a cooler room will make it easier for the body to slip into dreamland.
- Make a rule: no caffeine after noon.
Caffeine can stay in your bloodstream longer than you think, so switch to decaf coffee or tea in the afternoon hours. Even if you aren’t sensitive to the effects of caffeine, it’s one easy step you can take for a more restful night’s sleep. Feel drowsy in the afternoon at the office? Go for a 15-minute walk to perk yourself up instead!
- Save your bed for sleep, and quality time with your loved one ONLY.
Watching TV or reading in bed will distract your mind from sleepy thoughts. Using your bed only for sleep will hardwire your brain into remembering that’s what you’re there for – rest!
- Turn off electronic devices, or at least turn down screen brightness, 1-2 hours before bedtime.
One of the biggest triggers for wakefulness is light. Staring at bright electronics will send the wrong signals to the brain, and make you feel more awake and alert when you should be winding down.
- Get some exercise.
Even just 15 more minutes of exercise per day can make a difference in your rest. Creating that boost in energy means your body will be more ready to rest when the time comes. Try lifting weights for 15 minutes a day, or biking – just don’t exercise too close to bedtime. As a general rule, stop the workout at least 2-hours before turning in.
- Work through the day before hitting the hay.
Often, we are distracted from sleep by thoughts running through our minds – what happened that day, or what we need to do tomorrow. Sit down and journal your thoughts, make a to-do list, or meditate on them before switching off.