It’s no secret that sleep is important. Quality, uninterrupted sleep can have a positive impact on your alertness and productivity the next day. But it’s not always so easy to get a good night’s rest. Stress, light, noise, and even the temperature of your bedroom can all play a role in how well you sleep at night. However, there are several small changes you can make that will have a big impact on your ability to catch zzz’s. Read and use the bedtime routine template that is downloadable for 9 ways to sleep better tonight. Here is the gist of the template that you can download….
Try to sleep and wake at consistent times
If you have consistent sleep and wake times, your body will produce more melatonin and you will sleep better. So, try to keep the same schedule every day, even on weekends. Even if you don’t hit the sack at the exact same time every night, try to keep your sleeping and waking times consistent. If you have to change your sleep schedule due to travel, a shift at work, or other circumstances, make the change gradually. If you feel that your sleep-wake cycle is off from travel or jet-lag, try to see the early morning skyline. The red light hues of the light spectrum will help to reset your circadian clock.
Avoid caffeine later in the day
Caffeine is a stimulant that keeps you awake by blocking adenosine receptors in your body (One of the triggers of sleep is the buildup of adenosine in the body). Caffeine can also have a half-life of 8 to 12 hours. Since sleep is a relaxation process, you don’t want caffeine near bedtime and for some in the late afternoon. Stick with drinking caffeinated beverages in the morning or early afternoon and avoid any caffeine after 3 pm. If you need a little pick-me-up later in the day, try an afternoon walk or just go outside to get fresh air.
Exercise regularly (but not too late in the day)
Regular exercise is another very good way to improve the quality of your sleep. Regular exercise can help to prevent insomnia by calming your mind and releasing tension in your muscles. It can also help you get to sleep faster as long as you don’t exercise too close to bedtime. Exercising too close to bedtime could actually make it harder for you to fall asleep because your cortisol, heart, and body temperature rise when you exercise, and all these factors can make it harder to fall asleep.
4. Don’t eat too late and don’t drink alcohol before bed
Eating a heavy meal too close to bedtime can make it harder for you to fall asleep. You want your last meal to be at least 2 hours before you sleep, preferably before 7 pm. This is because your body needs time to process the food you’ve eaten and it uses a lot of energy to digest. If you eat a very heavy meal within a few hours of bedtime, your body may have a hard time digesting it while you’re sleeping. This can disrupt your sleep quality.
On a similar note, drinking alcohol before bedtime can affect your sleep quality. Alcohol is a depressant and while it might make you feel sleepy or drowsy, you are not getting your best sleep.
5. Blue light filter
Blue light coming from your computer, phone, and other screens interferes with your body’s ability to produce melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is critical for the onset of sleep. It is produced by the pineal gland and helps to promote sleep by decreasing the wakefulness in the center of your brain.
If you have trouble falling asleep, try installing a blue light filter on your devices. This will help to reduce the amount of blue light that your eyes are exposed to before bedtime. Try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime. Also, if you have a TV or computer in your bedroom, make sure that the screen is off. If you need to turn on lights at night, try warmer tone lights rather than bright blue-toned lights. Not only can blue light from screens disrupt your sleep, but it can also make it harder to fall asleep in the first place.
6. Turn off the lights
This one may seem obvious, but you’ll find it much easier to sleep if you turn off all the lights in your bedroom. If it is absolutely necessary to have a light on in the bedroom, use a night light or a dim light with softer tones.
7. Darken your bedroom (and use blackout curtains)
Nine Ways to Sleep Better
Darkening the room can help you relax and sleep better. Blackout curtains are a simple and effective way to darken the room around you. If you don’t have blackout curtains, you can also use thick blankets to cover your windows. You can also try using an eye mask to block out any remaining light. You might feel silly wearing a mask, but it can make a big difference in how deeply you sleep.
White noise generators can also be helpful if you are having trouble falling asleep.
8. Take a hot shower before you sleep
Taking a hot shower before you go to bed is a healthy and easy way to relax your muscles. The hot shower actually cools your body temperature which is perfect for sleep. It can also help you relax, unwind, and sleep more deeply.
9. Try essential oils
Essential oils have many proven health benefits. Some of them can also help you to fall asleep if you use them while you are in bed. Some good essential oils to use before bed are lavender, chamomile, and vetiver. Put a few drops of oil on your pillow, or put a drop or two on your palm and inhale from there. These scents have been shown to help people relax and sleep better. However, you have to be careful about the brand of essential oils you buy because some oils aren’t pure enough to be effective. Make sure you’re getting 100% pure oils that are safe for use.
Nine easy ways to sleep better
Everything you do before bedtime can affect how well you sleep, from what you eat to what you do. While it’s not always possible to follow every one of these tips every night, they can help you make progress toward a better night’s sleep. You can also try to avoid making sudden changes in your sleeping habits. If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s better not to make drastic changes to your sleeping schedule. Use this bedtime routine template and try to make small changes over time. See if they have any effect on your sleep. If you follow these tips and make a few small changes to your daily habits, you’re sure to sleep better and have a good night’s rest.