15 Steps To A Good Night's Sleep
Avoid Blue Light Before Bed
It's clinically proven that blue light, emitted by smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc., impacts the quality of your sleep. it tells your brain that it's daytime, even when it's not, thus throwing off your circadian rhythm. Make sure you put all your electronic devices out of your bedroom two to three hours before bedtime
2. Try Using a Sound Machine
Don't be afraid of a white noise machine! A lot of people have trouble falling asleep in complete silence. If you are one of those people, try investing in a white noise machine. The volume is adjustable and can be set to different soothing sounds such as rainfall, rainforests, the ocean and many more.
3. Eat Sleep Supporting Foods
Melatonin is a sleep hormone that is found in tart cherries. This makes them a great snack to prep your body for sleep. A cup of tart cherries or a small glass of tart cherry juice 1-2 hours before bedtime is a great remedy to help you drift off to sleep. Or, you can supplement with a melatonin capsule sold at local drugstores.
4. Prepare for the Next Day
Stress may be keeping you awake because of everything you have to do for the next day. Prep everything you need the night before! Being prepared for tomorrow makes for an easier morning, which in turn will decrease your stress at night. Get your clothes
together, pack your lunch and have it all ready to go!
5. Take a Hot Shower
Taking a hot shower or bath has shown to help calm the body down and ease your stress before bedtime. Additional techniques such as Epsom salt & lavender oil soaks, rhythmic breathing exercises, and full body stretches can help ease your mind and body, putting you in the perfect mood to fall right asleep.
6. Put Comfy Socks On
Now, this may sound silly, but it's a fact! Cold feet could be keeping you up at night. Simply put, your body may be too cold for the sleep you need. Your body temp begins to cool down when it's time to go to sleep. Putting socks on before bed can help you improve your circulation and regulate your body temperature.
7. Avoid Late-Night Snacking
Having a late-night snack may sound good and help ease your mind, but it may be doing more harm than good. Eating right before bed makes your digestive system work harder during the night, hurting your quality of sleep. It can also accelerate acid reflux, which is worse when you lie down right after eating.
8. Get Adequate Exercise
The more energy you expend during the day, the more tired you'll be at night. Sedentary jobs are the norm these days, so we need to make up for that in exercise. You don't need to run a marathon or anything crazy like that. Go for a walk, ride a bike, do some
jumping jacks, or even some light weight lifting will do the trick.
9. Watch What You Drink
Avoid drinking too much caffeine during the day. While everyone varies, it's best to avoid after 2pm. Also avoid alcohol 2-4 hours before bed. It might help you fall asleep, but it causes your liver to oxidize while you're sleeping, interfering with your sleep cycle & hurting your quality of sleep.
10. Get Some Sunshine!
Naturally, your body wants to sleep when it's dark out and be awake when the sun is out. If you indulge this natural cycle by taking a walk outside on your lunch break, having your coffee on the porch, or working next to a well-lit window, you'll help yourself ingrain a healthy circadian rhythm and in turn, fall asleep easier.
11. Stick to a Sleep Schedule
The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is 8 hours. Set a routine time to go to bed and wake up. Try to keep your sleep schedule consistent on the weekdays and weekends, and limit yourself to an hour variation. Keeping this consistent will help your body to fall asleep more quickly, as well as wake up more easily. If within 20 minutes you don’t fall asleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing, then try to go back to sleep, repeat as needed.
12. Manage Worries
Before bedtime, write out what is worrying you or could keep you from complete rest. Write it out and leave it for tomorrow. Place a time in your schedule to resolve the issue, let it go and let yourself sleep. Prayer and meditation can also help.
13. Create a Restful Environment
Do you often get hot during the night? Many people need a cool, dark and quiet place to fall asleep. This might mean cranking the A/C down a little before you go to bed. Exposure to light, especially smart phones, makes it much more challenging to fall asleep. Try to sleep with your smart phone in another room. Doing calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, might promote better sleep.
14. Limit Day-Time Naps
Long day-time naps can interfere with your sleep. If you choose to nap during the day, try to keep under 30 minutes and early in the day. If you work at night, try to take a nap later in the day to make up for the loss of sleep.
15. Fight after-dinner drowsiness
You know the feeling. If you’re getting tired much before your bedtime, do something stimulating like washing the dishes, helping your child with homework, or talking to a friend. If you end up falling asleep, this may lead to waking up at early hours unable to fall back to sleep.