Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to your health. Yet many of us have trouble getting the recommended eight hours of sleep on a regular basis. You’ve probably heard all the “rules” for getting better sleep, but which ones actually work? I’ll let you in on a little secret: if you’ve ever randomly Googled “how to get better sleep,” you might not have found the answer because Google doesn’t know who you are as an individual. To get personalized advice about how to get some quality shut-eye, you need to know yourself and what works for your body and mind. So, without further ado, here are my top ten tips for getting better sleep tonight and every night in the future (but don’t worry, they’re simple enough that they won’t interrupt your much-needed Zs):
Skip the naps.
It’s tempting to take a nap, especially if you’ve been up late the night before or had a rough morning. But there are several reasons why naps can be harmful to your sleep cycle:
- They make it harder to fall asleep at night, since they’re disrupting your natural circadian rhythm and rousing you from deep in REM sleep.
- They throw off your internal clock, making it difficult for you to fall asleep at the right time in the evening and stay asleep through the night.
Stop watching the clock.
Sometimes, your lack of sleep may be due to the fact that you have an irrational fear of falling asleep. If this is the case, try distracting yourself from the clock by doing something else. You can play video games or read a book for example.
If that doesn’t work for you and if you still cannot stop watching the clock, then it’s okay! Don’t worry about it too much; just go ahead and watch it if that helps put your mind at ease.
Avoid caffeine late in the day.
Caffeine is a stimulant, and it can cause you to become jittery. If you drink caffeine late in the day, it can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. You may also wake up earlier than normal or feel more tired during the day.
If you don’t want to cut out your caffeinated drinks entirely, try drinking them earlier in the day so that they have time to leave your system before bedtime arrives.
Establish a sleep routine.
Establish a sleep routine.
Establishing a sleep routine can help you sleep better, wake up better, live better, and be more productive. It may seem like an obvious point (and it is) but establishing a good quality sleep routine will help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and feel better when you do wake up. You need to go through the same process every night before bed time so that your body gets used to it as part of its “sleep preparation” process.
Exercise can help you sleep better in several ways. It helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer because it raises the amount of time it takes for your body to reach a deep level of rest. Exercise also helps regulate your hormones, which is important for a restful night’s sleep. Plus, exercise can be relaxing and help relieve stress—two things that interfere with great sleeping habits!
Meditate on a regular basis.
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and focus on the positive. It can help you sleep better at night because it will help you focus on the present, which will stop your mind from worrying about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow.
There are many different types of meditation, so try them all and see which one works best for you! If you’re having trouble focusing during meditations, try using a guided meditation app such as Calm or Headspace instead of trying to do it yourself without anything guiding you along.
Get out of bed if you’re not asleep after 20 minutes.
- Get out of bed if you’re not asleep after 20 minutes.
- If you get up after 20 minutes, you’re more likely to fall asleep.
- If you’re still awake after 20 minutes and can’t fall asleep, consider adjusting your bedtime to another time that works better for your body clock.
Make your bedroom as comfortable as possible
- Make your bedroom as comfortable and inviting as possible:
- Make sure it’s dark. Blackout curtains are a great option when you want complete darkness, or you can use an eye mask if you need to block out any ambient light that might come in through windows.
- Keep it quiet. You may have the best intentions of waking up early enough to meditate before heading out for work, but if there’s a construction crew operating just outside your window at 6am, it’s not going to happen! The same goes for noisy neighbors with their televisions blaring or dogs barking at all hours—it’s hard to get quality sleep when you’re constantly being woken up by noise pollution! If possible, consider moving so that you’re not sleeping near loud sources of noise pollution like traffic on major streets or busy bars that don’t shut down until late at night (or even later).
- Find some peace and quiet within yourself by getting away from electronics (if only mentally) before bedtime; try reading an actual book instead of scrolling through Facebook or Instagram on your phone; give yourself time each evening where no one else is around (no roommates!) so that you can focus on relaxing without distraction before turning off all lights except those necessary in order read comfortably while laying down comfortably upon soft sheets atop cozy blankets atop comfy pillows under which lays a mattress suitable enough so as not disrupt restful slumber when lying upon said mattress as well?
Give yourself some screen-free time before bed.
Avoiding screens before bedtime is important. While you may love playing games on your phone or watching a late night show, the light from these devices can be enough to interfere with your body’s natural circadian rhythm. This means that you won’t fall asleep as easily and will have less sleep overall. It’s also important to think about what you’re doing on your devices: if they’re keeping you up because they’re making you anxious or stressed out, then it’s time to take them away!
Don’t go to bed too hungry or too full.
You should not go to bed hungry or full. If you eat a large meal just before going to bed, it can lead to heartburn and acid reflux, which will keep you awake. Eating too close to bedtime also disrupts the normal function of your digestive system, causing indigestion that makes it difficult for you to fall asleep. Eating a large meal within 2-3 hours of going to sleep leads to stomach discomfort, making it hard for your body to relax and get comfortable enough for sleep.
If caffeine is not already known as an enemy of good sleep, now it is! Caffeine keeps your brain awake by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain (which help us feel tired), so no matter how tired you feel when drinking coffee or tea at dinner time, chances are good that this stimulant will make it harder for you fall asleep at night later on. Alcohol can have similar effects as caffeine: It disrupts your circadian rhythm by inhibiting melatonin production and increasing serotonin levels in the brain—which contributes both directly or indirectly (via increased alertness)
Keeping these tips in mind will help you establish — and stick to — a sleep routine that works for you
- Make your bed a sacred space.
- Establish and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
- Stick to your morning routine, even on weekends.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine late in the evening (or at least an hour before bed).
Sleep is a vital part of living a healthy life. It’s the time when your body and brain get to rest and recharge, preparing you to tackle whatever challenges or joys the next day will bring. Having trouble sleeping can lead to many negative consequences, both physical and emotional in nature. If you want to improve your sleep, it can be helpful to establish a nighttime routine and stick with it; creating a regular pattern will help your body get used to going to sleep and waking up at certain times of day. But remember that everyone’s needs are different, so don’t be afraid of trying new things until you find what works best for you!