Sleep is an essential part of our health and well-being. It’s the time when our bodies and minds rest and rejuvenate, allowing us to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day ahead. Yet with busy lifestyles and stressful jobs taking priority, proper sleep can often get compromised, to the point that we’re only getting a few hours of shuteye each night max (if that).
The good news is that restful, restorative sleep is well within reach each evening. Here are five tips for better sleep you can begin putting into practice tonight.
1. Establish a Regular Sleep Routine
A consistent sleep schedule is one of the best ways to improve your sleep quality. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (even on weekends). This helps regulate your body’s internal clock, which can improve the quality of your sleep. Your body likes consistency, and having a regular sleep routine can help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed.
Additionally, it’s essential to establish a relaxing pre-sleep routine, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book or practicing meditation. These activities can help signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
2. Create a Sleep-Conducive Environment
Make sure your bedroom is as dark, quiet and cool as possible. Use blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out any light as well as earplugs or a white noise machine to filter out unwanted noise, and adjust the temperature to a cool but comfortable level.
Remember that it’s important to ensure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and supportive. If your mattress is old and uncomfortable, it might be time to invest in a new, more comfortable, supportive one, which can make all the difference in how well you sleep.
3. Limit Exposure to Electronics Before Bedtime
Smartphones, tablets and laptops emit blue light, which can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, making it much harder to fall asleep. Therefore, it’s essential to limit exposure to electronics before bedtime.
Ideally, avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before going to bed. Set an alarm as a shut-off reminder so you’re not tempted to pick up your phone during bedtime prep. If you must use electronic devices, use blue light filters or wear blue light-blocking glasses to reduce exposure to blue light.
If scrolling through your phone or tablet is a weakness while you lie in bed, and it’s preventing you from getting to sleep, consider keeping electronic devices out of the bedroom, so you’re not tempted to use them before bedtime.
4. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol Before Bedtime
Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake, while alcohol can disrupt your sleep cycle and cause you to wake up during the night, so it’s advisable to avoid drinking both before bedtime. If you must consume caffeine, do so early in the day, and limit your intake to no more than 400mg per day.
As for alcohol, avoid drinking it at least two hours before bedtime. While alcohol can make you feel drowsy initially, making it appear like a good sleep aid, it can interfere with the quality of your sleep and cause you to wake up feeling groggy.
5. Exercise Regularly
How does regular exercise help improve the quality of your sleep? It increases the production of endorphins, which can help reduce stress and anxiety — two factors that can interfere with sleep. A regular fitness regime can also help regulate your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day.
However, it’s recommended to avoid exercising too close to bedtime as it can be stimulating and energizing and make it harder to fall asleep. It’s best to get that workout in earlier in the day, or at least a few hours before bedtime.
Better Sleep is a Wink Away
If falling asleep is difficult for you, whether it’s once in a while or every night, consult the specialists at Whitney Sleep. We can help determine the root cause and best treatment to get you resting more easily and consistently every night.
Reach out to learn more.