If you're struggling with sleeping well, you're not alone! Here's a guide with 10 easy-to-implement tips on how to get a better night's sleep. You don't need to do all 10 tonight. Try incorporating one or two things that appeal most to you, then work from there!
These are things that have worked really well for me, and have helped my anxious bod get into a good sleep rhythm. Many of these tips are backed by scientific studies and some of them are habits that have helped me personally.
Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body's internal clock. Establish a fixed awakening time. Try waking up at the same time every day (even on weekends) no matter how well or how poorly you have slept. This way your body will begin to get used to a regular sleep rhythm.
Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Establish a calming pre-sleep routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. This could include activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques. Having a bedtime routine cues your body that it’s time to sleep. So, establish a set routine that you follow every night. For example, have a warm bath, put on your pajamas, brush your teeth, and then listen to soft music and read on the couch until you start to feel sleepy and then go to bed.
Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment
Make your bedroom conducive to sleep. This involves keeping the room dark, quiet, and cool. Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine if needed. If you want to have a good sleep, it helps to create a comfortable sleep environment.
Try to ensure that your room is not too hot or cold, minimize noise, and block out light. I like to use a red light in the evening as it is non-glaring, so it can help you see better at night, plus in some small studies it has been found to help reduce sleep inertia. If possible, an open window can help with air circulation and freshness.
Limit Exposure to Stimulants
Avoid electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The blue light emitted from screens can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Limit Food At Night
Be mindful of what you eat and drink, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime, as they can disrupt sleep.I like to stop eating and drinking around 4 hours before bed.
Get Regular Exercise
Engage in regular physical activity, but try to finish your workout at least a few hours before bedtime. Exercise can promote better sleep, but exercising too close to bedtime may have the opposite effect.
Sleep Only When Sleepy
If you need to nap, keep it short (20-30 minutes) and earlier in the day. Avoid napping late in the afternoon or evening, as it can interfere with nighttime sleep. Don’t force yourself into bed at a particularly time if you’re not feeling sleepy. You’ll only lie awake in bed, frustrated that you can’t sleep.
Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation to help calm your mind before bedtime. Relax. Try doing something to relax your body and mind before going to bed. Try taking a warm bath 90 minutes before you plan to go to bed. Or, try a relaxation exercise (try yoga Nidra or sleep music), meditation, or listening to calming music. Take magnesium if your diet isn't providing enough.
Evaluate Your Bed
Ensure that your mattress and pillows are comfortable and supportive. An uncomfortable sleep surface can contribute to sleep disturbances. Make sure that you have a supportive mattress and fresh, comfortable bedding, I like a buckwheat pillow and natural fibre bedding. Using sheets without plastic elements (polyester) will help regulate your body temperature more effectively.
Only For Sleep
Use your bed only for sleeping and intimacy. No working or reading, watching TV in bed, or doing anything else in bed.
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