Sound Sleep: 10 Ways You Can Get a Better Night's Sleep
We spend a third of our life asleep, but over 60% of Americans say they have trouble sleeping at least once a week.
We all know what it feels like to not get enough sleep. You're groggy, grumpy, and distracted. Missing sleep makes your day harder to get through, and it can cause long term problems.
Sleep is an important component of our overall health.
Chronic sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. Sleep deprivation also increases your chances of developing depression or becoming obese.
Are you ready for a night of sound sleep? Keep reading for our list of things to do before bed so you can finally get the good night's sleep you deserve.
Daily exercise could be the solution to your poor night's sleep. Exercise helps you fall asleep quickly and sleep more deeply.
In fact, regular exercise helps you get more REM sleep. This deep restorative stage of sleep helps boost your immune system, reduce stress and keeps your heart healthy.
Do you lay awake at night thinking about everything you need to do?
Exercise also reduces anxiety and stress, which makes it easier to fall asleep. Plus being healthier saves you money on doctor's visits and life insurance premiums.
Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week will help you sleep better and feel healthier.
2. Stick to a Bedtime Routine
A bedtime routine signals to your body and mind that it's time to go to sleep. Your bedtime ritual should involve relaxing activities that help you release your daily worries.
Have a cup of tea or reflect on the day in your journal. Maybe stretch or do a relaxing bedtime yoga sequence.
Try to limit harsh lights and electronics before bed. Scrolling through social media never helps anyone sleep better.
3. Limit Blue Lights Before Bedtime
Speaking of social media, try to limit your device use before bed.
Your phone and other handheld electronics emit a blue light that tricks your body into thinking it's daytime. This disrupts your internal clock and steals your sleepy feelings.
If you just need to check one last text before bed at least download a blue light blocking app to offset some of the negative effects.
4. Keep Business out of the Bedroom
This includes discussing mundane or stressful matters before bed. Try not to remind your spouse about a parent-teacher conference or to get milk before drifting off to sleep.
Your bed should be a restful place. Keep tasks like emails and work far away from the bedroom.
Your mind should associate your bedroom with two things: sleep and sex. You're more likely to have sex if your bedroom is a space free from talk about chores, kids, or work.
5. Create a Relaxing Space
Your bedroom should inspire relaxation and sleep. Even the color of your bedroom can affect your sleep. Bright colors keep you awake, while cool dark colors are better for sleep.
Lighting is another key to creating a relaxing bedroom environment.
Invest in soft, ambient lighting. Warm lights are more relaxing than cool lights. You should also invest in blackout curtains to get your room as dark as possible for sleep.
6. Have a Snack Before Bed
Overeating can disturb your sleep, but a small snack before bed may actually help you sleep better.
Having a small snack before bed prevents you from waking up in the middle of the night because you're hungry. It also helps you wake up feeling more energetic because your blood sugar will be higher than if you didn't have a pre-bed snack.
7. Cut Down on Alcohol and Caffeine
You may think your evening nightcap is helping you wind down for bed, but alcohol disrupts your sleep. You may fall asleep quickly after a few drinks but you will have a less restful sleep. Alcohol disrupts your deep REM sleep, so you will wake up feeling groggy.
Late day caffeine could also be robbing you of quality sleep.
Drinking coffee in the morning is no big deal, but afternoon coffee beware. Coffee stays in your system 5 hours after you finish the last sip. That means if you have a cup of coffee at 3 PM you could still be feeling the effects of alertness well into the evening.
8. Wind-Down With Meditation
Meditation is one of the best ways to wind down for restful sleep. Guided meditation provides a peaceful means of easing off to sleep naturally. They can be particularly effective for people with racing thoughts or insomnia.
Meditation activates your parasympathetic nervous system which slows your breathing and lowers your heart rate. This increases your chances of having a restful night's sleep without any interruptions.
9. Limit Daytime Naps
Short power naps can be beneficial, but you should avoid long mid-day naps. Long naps in the middle of the day disrupt your internal clock, so you will have trouble falling asleep come bedtime.
Long naps may not even help you feel more rested. Plenty of people actually feel more tired after waking up from a daytime nap. However, short naps can have powerful effects on your focus and restfulness without disrupting later sleep
If you plan to start taking power naps make sure you take them the same time every day. Irregular naptime will disrupt your circadian rhythm and reduce the quality of your sleep.
10. Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule is one of the best ways to make sure you get enough sleep every night.
Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep, but 40% of American adults are not getting that much.
Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule helps you have a more restful sleep. A sleep schedule sets your body's internal clock which helps you to sleep more soundly.
Achieve Sound Sleep Today
Getting enough sleep can be the difference between a good day and a bad one. You owe it to yourself to feel your best.
Sound sleep is a key part of everyone's health. Having a good night's rest helps you live a healthier and happier life. So, what are you waiting for?
Implement our tips and get a great night's sleep today!