Six Essential Strategies For Getting Better Sleep
1. Don’t Consume Nicotine, Caffeine, Or Alcohol Late In The Day
Coffee, soda, chocolate, and other caffeine-laden products can keep you from sleeping soundly through the night.
The stimulant nature of coffee can make it difficult for you to fall asleep if you consume it too close to bedtime. Most experts recommend avoiding caffeine for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours before you head to bed. The same applies to smokers. Try to avoid any tobacco use directly before bedtime.
Although alcohol can initially make it easier to fall asleep, it can wind up causing you to wake up multiple times during the night. This results in lower sleep quality overall. Try to drink no more than one or two alcoholic beverages each day. You should also avoid drinking during the three-hour window of time before you go to bed.
2. Create A Setting That Promotes Better Sleep
It is easier to sleep well when you are in a room that is dark, cool, and totally quiet. There is a reason why you can always find bats sleeping during the day in caves. Try to set up a similar environment for yourself.
Sleep experts suggest you use earplugs or white noise generators to combat outside sounds. Hang up blackout curtains to eliminate outside light. Any light entering the room can stimulate the brain, making it harder to fall asleep. Finally, avoid sleeping in a hot room. Instead, try to keep the temperature of the room anywhere from about 60° to 75°F. If necessary, buy a new mattress and replace your pillows. Most experts recommend getting a new mattress every 10 years or so.
Some people find it beneficial to reserve their bed only for sleeping or intimate activities. Avoid doing work or using your computer in the room. You may also want to ditch your TV. This will help create a stronger connection in your brain between your bedroom and sleeping.
3. Do Something Relaxing Each Night Before Bed
Many people find it beneficial to read a book a little before bedtime. If you go this route, choose something light and uplifting.
Shifting gears from being awake to falling asleep is easier if you give your body a little bit of time to relax. Taking a bath is a great option. The warm water increases your body temperature. When you get out and your body temperature drops back down, it causes you to feel sleepy, making it easier to drift off. Other activities you may want to try include reading or meditating.
Don’t do anything that creates feelings of stress. That includes working on projects for your job or talking about emotionally-charged problems. Any activities that induce stress cause your body to release cortisol. This hormone makes you feel more alert, which can make falling asleep difficult. You may find it beneficial to write down anything you are worried about before bed. This can help clear your brain so that you can sleep more easily.
4. Wait until You Are Tired To Go To Bed
If you lay in bed for more than 20 minutes and can’t get to sleep, try getting up and doing something else. Choose a relaxing activity like reading a book or listening to soft, relaxing music. You can always try going back to bed again when you start to feel sleepy.
5. Don’t Continually Check The Clock
One surefire way to elevate your stress levels is by constantly checking the clock when you are having trouble sleeping. To avoid this problem, try turning your clock toward the wall so that you can’t see it.
If you find yourself waking up during the night and have trouble falling back asleep, try doing something relaxing like reading a book. Just avoid using a bright light to read since too much light can make you feel awake. When you start to feel sleepy again, you can go back to bed.
6. Control Your Internal Clock With Light
Your body’s internal clock naturally responds to light. To get your body on track, try exposing yourself to bright light early in the morning. Partway through the day, you should also step outside to get a little bit more sunlight. This will help you feel sleepier when the evening rolls around.