All of us want to get a good night’s sleep, but sometimes, life catches up with us and we encounter those dreaded sleepless nights. Tossing and turning is no fun when you have a big day ahead of you. In order to lull off to sleep and stay rested throughout the night, follow this helpful advice:
Avoid caffeine. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, eliminating caffeine from your diet is a quick win. If you can’t go without your morning cup of coffee, then a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is “No coffee after noon.” This gives caffeine enough time to wear off before bed time.
Stop smoking. Tobacco use has been linked to a long line of health issues and poor sleep is another one on the list.
Use the bedroom for sleep and sex only. Is your bedroom designed to promote good sleep? The ideal sleeping environment is dark, cool, and quiet. Don’t make your bedroom a multi-purpose room. Eliminate TVs, laptops, electronics, and clutter. When you go to the bedroom, go there to sleep.
Natural Sleep Aids
Exercise. There are too many benefits to exercise to list them all here. When it comes to sleep, exercise will make it easier for your brain and body to power down at night. Furthermore, obesity can wreck havoc on your sleep patterns. The role of exercise only becomes more important with age. However, avoid exercising two to three hours before bedtime as the mental and physical stimulation can leave your nervous system feeling wired and make it difficult to calm down at night.
Temperature. Most people sleep best in a cool room. The ideal range is usually between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 21 degrees Celsius).
Sound. A quiet space is key for good sleep. If peace and quiet is hard to come by, try controlling the bedroom noise by creating “white noise” with a fan. Or, use ear plugs.
How to Go to Sleep
Stick to a regular schedule. The body loves ritual. The entire circadian rhythm we laid out earlier is one big, daily routine. Go to bed and wake up around the same time each day.
Develop a “power down” ritual before bed. The light from computer screens, televisions, and phones can hinder the production of melatonin, which means your body isn’t preparing the hormones it needs to enter the sleep phase. Developing a “power down” routine where you shut off all electronics an hour or two before sleep can be a big help. Additionally, working late at night can keep your mind racing and your stress levels high, which also prevents the body from calming down for sleep. Turn off the screens and read a book instead. It’s the perfect way to learn something useful and power down before bed. Another option is to download an app called f.lux, which reduces the brightness of your screen closer to bedtime.
Use relaxation techniques. Over half of insomnia cases are emotion or stress related. Find outlets to reduce your stress and you’ll often find that better sleep comes as a result. Proven methods include daily journaling, deep breathing exercises, meditation, exercise, and keeping a gratitude journal (write down something you are thankful for each day).
How to Have More Energy in the Morning
Drink a large glass of water. Your body just went 6 to 8 hours without any liquid. If you are feeling lethargic and groggy in the morning, you may often be slightly dehydrated. The first thing I do when I wake up is drink a large, cold glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon.
Start the day in the sunlight. Sunshine is the new coffee. Getting sunlight in your morning routine is critical for establishing your circadian rhythm and waking your brain and body for the day. You may find you need none or very little coffee in the summer or in times of high sun exposure, but you’re a complete monster if you don’t get your morning cup of coffee in the grey winter months.
Sleep is a basic function, but it shouldn’t be ignored. Try out some of these tips to enjoy more restful nights– happy dreaming!