Getting good, quality sleep is one of those things that we know we need but, most of us do not. Living in the current “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” culture, has made many people underestimate what they are doing to their bodies and minds by not prioritizing getting enough sleep. Lack of concentration, depression, and weight gain are just a few of the many issues that can plague the person who is not well rested regularly. If a better mood and overall health is what you’re after, here are 7 tips for getting better shut-eye tonight.
- Have a set bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This will help to regulate your body’s clock, helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for the night.
- Get a relaxing nighttime routine. Practicing a routine right before bedtime that includes staying away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.
- Get moving. Fitting in 20 to 30 minutes of cardio or weight training to get your heart rate up is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
- The perfect sleep environment. The room you sleep in should set the stage for getting good, peaceful rest. Really analyze your bedroom. What is the temperature? Is it normally too hot? Too cold? The ideal temperature for sleep is usually between 65 and 70 degrees. Remove any lights from a cell phone, computer or television, and consider using blackout curtains to keep out any light from outside. If you have a partner who snores drown out them out by using ear plugs and some white noise machines.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening. Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep. If you can, avoid eating large meals for two to three hours before bedtime. Try a light snack 45 minutes before bed if you’re still hungry.
- Cut the caffeine. So you may love your coffee but, drinking it later in the day could be affecting your ability to catch some z’s.