Your sleep schedule directly affects your mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can put a serious toll on your daytime energy, emotional balance, productivity, and even your weight. However, a lot of people are struggling to get proper sleep at night. They constantly turn and toss every night, struggling to get that much needed sleep.
Following a healthy sleep habit can make a lot of difference between getting restless and a peaceful sleep. Thankfully, there are easy ways to help you get a good night’s sleep every night. These include:
1. Avoid Consuming Anything That Might Prevent You From Getting Sleep
Coffee is a must for many individuals during busy office hours. It can help them avoid getting drowsy during a dull afternoon at work.
However, as you may already know, coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. This means that drinking coffee before going to bed at night will not do you any good as caffeine will prevent you from getting sleepy. So, it’s best to avoid drinking coffee, tea, cola, chocolate, or any other drink that contains caffeine for at least four hours before bedtime.
The same can also be said for people who smoke and drink alcohol before bedtime. Yes, alcohol can initially help you get sleepy. However, after a couple of hours later, it will act as a stimulant that can keep you awake and decrease the quality of your sleep. It is recommended that you limit your alcohol consumption to one to two drinks per day or even less, and avoid drinking at least three hours before bedtime.
2. Don’t Eat Too Much During The Evening
You might be inclined to eat a lot in the evening, especially after a very tiring and stressful day at work, but don’t. Eating a lot in the evening can be a recipe for insomnia. The same can also be said when you eat something before going to bed.
You have to finish your dinner at least a couple of hours before going to sleep. If you do get hungry in the middle of the night, snack on foods that are not heavy on the stomach and may cause indigestion, especially desserts that are high in sugar as they can negatively impact your sleep, making you feel tired and exhausted the following day. What you can consume instead are dairy and carbohydrate-rich foods.
3. Transform Your Bedroom To An Ideal Sleep Environment
How your bedroom looks and feels like also affects your sleep schedule. An uncomfortable bedroom will prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, while a quiet, dark, and cool bedroom will promote a sound slumber.
If you want to sleep soundly every night, especially if you have a very hectic schedule, you must transform your bedroom into an ideal sleep environment. To achieve that, try to block out outside noise with earplugs. To make your room dark, make use of blackout shades or heavy curtains; you can also put on an eye mask to block out light. You should also ensure that the bedroom temperature is comfortably cool, around 60-75°F (15 -21°C), and that the space is properly ventilated. You also need to equip your bedroom with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
Also, if you are sleeping with your pet and they tend to wake you up multiple times in the middle of the night, you may want to keep them out of your room. It will also help if you limit your bedroom activities to just sleep and relaxation only. Avoid doing anything that might distract you from sleeping before bedtime, such as watching TV, browsing the web, or doing some work tasks.
4. Establish A Sleeping Routine
You should establish a sleeping routine that will ease up your transition from wake time to sleep time. This involves doing some relaxing activities before bedtime. It could be anything, such as taking a bath, reading a book, watching TV, or doing some yoga or meditation to help you relax.
Avoid doing stressful and stimulating activities before bedtime. Avoid doing work, discussing emotional stuff, or anything that’ll get you worked up mentally or physically. Getting worked up physically and mentally from stressful activities will cause your body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated in increasing our wake time and alertness.
If you can’t avoid taking your problems with you to bed, just try writing them down on a piece a paper instead of thinking of them or bottling them all up as you try to sleep.
5. Be Sure To Sleep When You Feel Truly Tired
Rolling, turning, and tossing yourself every night as you struggle to fall asleep will only lead to frustration.
Don’t allow yourself to struggle too much when trying to sleep as it’ll only prevent you from sleeping further. If you’re not still asleep after 30 minutes, get out of your bed, go to another room, and do something that’ll help you relax, like reading or listening to music, until you;retired enough to sleep.
6. Follow A Regular Sleep Schedule
Set a definite time for your bedtime, which should be early enough so you can get seven to eight hours of sleep, and stick to it.
Having an erratic sleep schedule will only leave you feeling out of whack, so it might be a good idea to set a regular sleep schedule and do your best to stick to it every night. This will require you to make some adjustments with your daily routine so you can go to bed in the night and wake up in the morning at the same time every day.
Just how important improving your sleep schedule is? When you sleep well, the rest of the day’s work gets easier because the brain has gotten enough time to regenerate. It has also been proven that sleeping at least seven hours every night helps in reducing stress and depression, as well as help in speeding up the recovery process from an illness or injury.
It’s important to note that improving your sleep schedule doesn’t happen overnight. It takes gradual steps and a couple of adjustments in your daily routine to make it possible.