There's nothing better than crawling into your comfy bed after a long day. However, one in three Americans struggles to get adequate, quality sleep. Since sleep is as vital to your mental and physical health as a good diet and regular exercise, it's important to try to get a restful night's sleep every night. Read on for a few tips that could send you on your way to dreamland.
Stick to a nightly routine.
Forming a healthy nighttime routine and sticking to it is necessary to create good sleep habits. Start by setting aside enough time to get an acceptable night's sleep—most people need around seven hours—and going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Turn off the electronics at least 30 minutes before bed and wind down with a soothing ritual.
Your nightly routine might include meditation, gentle self-care, and relaxation techniques. It's okay to have an occasional late night, but remember to pick up where you left off the next day to keep your routine structured.
Create a healthy sleeping environment.
Sleeping in a cool, clean, and dark room can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Don’t let distractors, like outside noise, wreck your good night’s sleep. To ensure your sleep environment is optimal, consider these tips:
- Turn on a fan
- Sleep with earplugs or earbuds
- Try a white noise machine
- Invest in black-out curtains
- Don a sleeping mask
Additionally, your bed should only be used for sleep. Limit napping, relaxing, and working to other areas of your house. If possible, try not to spend too much time in your bedroom during the day, so your brain associates this safe haven only with sleep.
Exercising does so much good for your wellbeing, sending healthy vibes to your brain and body while you’re awake and asleep. . Exercise can help clear your mind, which relieves stress and anxiety. It also uses your stored energy so you feel tired earlier. Plus, you’re more likely to stay asleep if you've done a lot of physical activity during the day.
If you can, exercise outside. The sun works to set your circadian rhythm, which is a natural process of the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle..
Limit daytime naps.
While there are some benefits to napping, you might want to lay off the daytime snooze to promote healthy nighttime sleep. Avoid napping late in the day, and keep your naps to no more than an hour. Long naps disrupt sleep patterns, leading to sleeplessness and nighttime restlessness.
Monitor your caffeine intake.
That post-lunch cup of coffee might be the reason you feel tired enough to need to drink coffee. As a stimulant, caffeine is proven to lower your sleep quality—or make it impossible for you to sleep at all. Caffeine takes about six hours to leave the body, so count backwards and plan your final cup of joe around that.
It's also important to remember that snacks like chocolate contain caffeine, so it might be a good idea to sub the nightly wine and chocolate for herbal tea and a small, protein-rich treat instead.
Yes, a nightly routine is key, but the best way to get well-rounded sleep is to incorporate an amazing morning routine too! With a great night's sleep and a peaceful, slow morning, you'll be ready to conquer the day.