A good night’s sleep is crucial, not only for your mood, but for your health, but there are so many factors that can get in the way – stress, work, family responsibilities, illnesses. It’s not surprising that a good rest can sometimes be elusive. While there are some factors you can’t control, there are a few ways to can take to maximize your chances for a great night of sleep.
1. Stick to a sleep schedule
Eight hours of sleep is around the recommended amount of sleep for a healthy grown adult. Figure out what time you need to go to bed in order to get the best 8 hours you can. Stick to your times! When you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, your body gets in the routine with you. If you’re having trouble falling asleep within 20 minutes of laying down, get up and do something relaxing.
2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink
Don’t let yourself go to bed hungry or too full. You want to stop eating a few hours before you hit the hay. Discomfort could keep you awake! Steer clear of nicotine, caffeine and alcohol before bed. Nicotine and caffeine will definitely keep you awake longer than you want. Alcohol might help you get to sleep faster, but it can disrupt your sleep later in the night.
3. Create a restful environment
Put some thought into the room you’re sleeping in. Keep it cool, dark, and quiet to create the optimal sleep environment. It’s fairly common to scroll through your phone as you are laying in bed, but avoid the light-emitting screens before bedtime. Calming activities before bed can help your body relax. Try taking a bath or using some relaxation techniques to promote better sleep.
4. Limit daytime naps
As tempting as it is, napping during the day can interfere with your sleep at night. If you need one, sneak in a quick 30 minutes and avoid napping late in the day. Now, for those of us that work during the night, naps during the day can help make up for lost sleep. Time them well so you aren’t tired before heading to work. Give your body plenty of time to wake up and get moving for the day.
5. Include physical activity in your daily routine
Staying active during the day will help you burn off any extra energy that might be keeping you up at night, but be careful. Don’t go for a run right before bed. Getting your blood pumping too much can make it hard to fall asleep. Time your activity for earlier in your afternoons to kill that extra energy and get in a good workout.
6. Know when to contact your doctor
Now, let’s be honest – It’s not that easy for everyone to fall asleep at night. If you are really struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep, it might be time to consult a doctor. They will be able to help you determine if there are underlying causes and get you the sleep you deserve.