Tired of tossing and turning all night? There are lots of ways to help promote a better night’s sleep. Here are nine of our favorite tips for getting the best sleep you’ve had all year.
Set Internal Clock
Wake up at the same time each morning, and try to go to bed at around the same time each night to train your internal clock. A regular sleep schedule helps your body optimise for sleep.
Set a Relaxing Sleep Routine
A sleep routine is a classical conditioning technique to train your body to wind down and get tired. It can be as simple as preparing for bed in the exact same steps every night, like dressing, brushing your teeth, and then five minutes of meditation before bed.
Change the Temperature
The temperature is one of the most important factors in the bedroom for sleep. Try to keep the temperature between 60F and 75F to promote a good sleep environment.
Limit Caffeine and Stimulants
Caffeine can disrupt your body’s natural sleep biology, the circadian rhythm. It can even mimic the symptoms and effects of insomnia.
Strive to avoid coffee, soda, chocolate, and any foods, herbs, or medicines that cause alertness for 4-6 hours before bed to allow your body time to wind down. For example, if you are trying to sleep at 9pm, you should strive to avoid any stimulants after 3pm.
Go to Sleep When Tired
Staring at the wall or counting the minutes on the clock can induce stress and keep you awake. If you are restless twenty minutes after laying down, get up, go to another room, and do something relaxing like meditation, journaling, or adult coloring to wind your mind down before trying again.
Limit Screen Time Prior to Bed
A sleep disorder specialist, Dr Harneet Walia, MD, explained in a Cleveland Clinic article that our electronics are designed to keep us stimulated and engaged. Even a quick check before bed or in the middle of the night can disrupt the deep sleep you need.
Worse, the blue screen lights disrupt the production of melatonin, the chemical that helps us calm, relax, and sleep. It affects both sleep quality and the stress you feel the next day! Plus the toxic news and negative experiences on social media can fill our thoughts with stress and worry as we lay in bed trying to sleep.
Unplug 30 minutes to an hour before bed, and use the time to work on your sleep routines. Find a relaxing activity that will help you prepare to sleep instead.
Watch What You Eat
Fatty foods, sugars, too much water, and acidic foods can throw off your body’s systems and make it harder to sleep. Stimulating foods like chocolate, sugar, and candy can disrupt your sleep cycle. Fried foods and heavy meals can lead to gas, indigestion, and other issues that keep you from falling into a deep sleep. Sodas and alcohol are diuretics that can wake you for late night bathroom breaks.
Finish meals 2-4 hours before bed when you can. If you need a snack, focus on a protein for low gas and long-lasting energy. Peanut butter, a piece of cheese, or a handful of nuts can be great options.
Do a Brain Dump
Are thoughts keeping you up at night? Stress can cause an infinite loop of racing thoughts. Put all the things keeping you up at night on paper.
- Worried you will forget a particular errant? Set a reminder.
- Trying to process a hurtful thing a friend said? Journal your feelings out to release the pent up hurt and thoughts.
- A big deadline has you worried? Break it down into smaller goals and an action plan.
The big goal is to move these thoughts on record, so your mind does not have to obsess over them.
Lavender has proven to influence the nervous system, help lengthen restful sleep, and improve relaxation in various scientific studies. Try a herbal tea, or place a sachet of dried flowers in your room to receive the soothing benefits.
Most importantly– Be patient with yourself! It takes time to instill a new habit and benefit from the better energy and health a good night’s sleep provides. Implement these nine tips to get a better night’s sleep today.