The ability to sleep soundly directly affects your health and well-being. Here are some tips on how to get better quality sleep.
How to Sleep Better | 33 Bedtime Tips to Sleep Soundly
1. Don’t Sleep In
Syncing with your circadian rhythm is vital if you want to get a good night’s sleep. Having different sleeping patterns during weekdays and weekends will make you feel like you have jet lag and will makes it harder for you to sleep.
Circadian Rhythm Definition: This refers to the 24-hour internal cycle in a person’s body that signals sleepiness and alertness. This is also known as the sleep/wake cycle.
2. Limit Your Naps
If you need to make up for lack of sleep, opt for a power nap instead. Limit naps to a 15 to 20-minute block sometime in the middle of the afternoon.
3. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Keeping a regular schedule allows you to sleep soundly and wake up refreshed and rejuvenated each day. This is especially important for shift workers who don’t adhere to the 9-to-5 schedule.
If you find yourself at the mercy of the alarm clock to wake up, you need to get more sleep and go to bed at an earlier time.
4. Resist After-Dinner Drowsiness
If you get drowsy after dinnertime, get up and do something. This can be calling a friend, getting your clothes ready, or washing the dishes.
5. Get Some Exercise
Regular exercise helps you sleep better at night and keeps you more alert during the day. It can also improve sleep apnea and other sleep disorder symptoms and increases the time you spend in a deep sleep.
6. Time Your Exercise Right
Do any strenuous activities at least three hours before bedtime. Exercise done too late in the day can interfere with sleep.
7. Go Low-Impact Before Bedtime
Low-impact exercises like yoga can help promote good sleep when done in the evening.
8. Don’t Eat Big Meals at Night
Eat dinner earlier at night and avoid eating rich foods a couple of hours before bed. Also, avoid spicy and acidic foods as they can cause heartburn and other stomach issues.
9. Avoid Drinking Too Many Liquids
Drinking too many things at night means frequent trips to the bathroom.
10. Control Nicotine and Caffeine
Caffeine, especially too late in the day, can cause sleep issues up to 12 hours within drinking it. Smoking also has a similar effect.
11. Don’t Drink Alcohol Before Bed
A nice drink may help you relax and calm down, but it throws off your sleep cycle once it wears off.
12. Cut Back on the Carbs and Sugars
Eating lots of refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, and pasta during the day can keep you awake at night.
13. Stick to Light Snacks
If your stomach is growling and you have to eat something, a light snack before bedtime can help you. Some snacks you can try include a banana, a cup of yogurt, or a small bowl of non-sugary cereal.
14. Bask in Natural Light During the Day
Expose yourself to natural light as soon as you wake up. Keep your curtains or blinds open to let more light indoors.
15. Spend More Time Outdoors
Do as much of your activities outside when you can. Take work breaks, squeeze in a workout, or just walk your dog during the day.
16. Invest in a Light Therapy Box
A light therapy box simulates sunlight and can be a useful thing to have for those short winter days. Light therapy can also help shift workers adjust to an irregular schedule and help them sleep soundly.
17. Avoid Bright Screens Close to Bedtime
Did you know that melatonin, the hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle, is affected by your exposure to light? Blue light from phone, tablet, and computer screens are disruptive to melatonin production.
Use smaller screens, turn the brightness down, or use blue-light filtering apps to minimize its impact.
18. Turn off the TV
Most TV shows are stimulating rather than relaxing. Opt for some music and audiobooks if you need to wind down.
19. Don’t Read with Backlit Screens
The backlight from tablet readers is more disruptive than e-book readers with e-ink technology without a light source.
20. Lights Out
Make sure the room is dark when it’s bedtime. Use a sleep mask or blackout curtains to block as much light from the environment.
21. Keep Lights Down When You Go Out
Sometimes, the call of nature can’t be helped. If you need some light to move around, use a small flashlight while walking or install nightlights in the hallway or bathrooms.
22. Manage Your Stress Levels
High stress levels throughout the day make it more difficult for you to sleep soundly. The more overstimulated your brain is during the day, the harder it is to wind down at night.
23. Develop a Bedtime Ritual
Create a bedtime routine that helps you relax after a long day so you can prepare to sleep soundly. Some things you can incorporate in your ritual include taking a warm bath, practicing relaxation techniques, and listening to soothing music
24. Focus on One Task at a Time
Set aside a specific time to check on your phone and social media every day. Focus on one task at a time as much as you can.
25. Do a Body Scan
Do a full-body scan to identify which parts of your body hold a lot of stress and tension, then release it.
- Lie on your back in a relaxed position and close your eyes.
- Focus on your right toes for 3-5 seconds.
- Notice any tension and relax them while focusing on your breathing.
- Repeat the process, this time with the sole of your right foot.
- Shift your focus to the calf, knee, thigh, hip, then repeat the same order for the left side.
- Move up to your torso, your lower back, your chest, then your shoulders.
You should feel more relaxed and ready for bed afterward.
26. Practice Deep Breathing
Breathing from your diaphragm rather than your chest activates your relaxation response. This lowers your blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels to help you fall asleep.
- Close your eyes and lay down your bed.
- Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
- Breathe through your nose.
- Exhale through your mouth and push out as much as you can while contracting your ab muscles.
- Continue to breathe through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
All throughout this process, make sure that the hand on your belly moves up and down, while the hand on your chest only moves a little.
27. Postpone Worrying
If anxiety is the reason you’re waking up, note your worries down on a piece of paper and postpone stressing about it until the next day. Do the same if it’s a great idea that’s keeping you up so you can stay asleep later.
28. Do Non-Stimulating Activities
Still having trouble falling asleep after more than 15 minutes? Get up and do something non-stimulating like reading a book. Keep your lights dim and avoid screen time to not send signals to the brain that it’s time to wake up.
29. Keep Noise Levels down to Sleep Soundly
If it isn’t possible to eliminate outside noise, mask them with a fan or some white noise. Earplugs are also an option.
30. Cool Down Your Room
The average person sleeps best in a cool room with an adequate amount of ventilation. Too hot or too cold, and sleep will be a nightmare.
31. Make Sure the Bed is Comfy
Your sheets should leave room to move around without you being tangled up in them. If you wake up with a sore neck or back, experiment with different types of pillows, foam toppers, and mattress firmness.
32. Reserve the Bed for Its Purpose
Associating the bedroom with sleep and sex makes it easier for you to wind down. Avoid working, using gadgets, and watching TV in bed whenever possible.
33. Make Relaxation the Goal
Try not to stress about not falling asleep. Relaxation techniques like meditation, guided imagery, and body scanning can help you relax even if they’re not a good substitute for sleep.
Sleep deprivation takes a serious toll on your productivity, energy, and even your health. By experimenting with these tips, you can sleep soundly and wake up ready for another day ahead.
What helps you sleep soundly during bedtime? Let us know in the comments below.
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