A good night’s sleep can do wonders for your well-being. Long and uninterrupted sleep at night helps you feel energized, improves your mood, enhances your concentration, and increases your productivity. All the same, many individuals have trouble falling asleep or getting enough quality sleep. As a result of tossing and turning late into the night, they often end up feeling cranky and tired the next day. Inconsistent and poor-quality sleep also has its health hazards; research indicates that lack of quality sleep can increase the risk of weight gain and a person’s susceptibility to disease.
While you may find a good night’s rest elusive, you have more control over it than you may realize. The way you feel during your waking hours is affected by how well you slept the previous night, but on the flip side, your daytime habits can be the key to better sleep. You also have control over your bedtime routine, and a healthy one can help you fall asleep faster and get sufficient hours’ worth of Zs.
There are several things you can try so that you can fall asleep more quickly and improve the quality of your sleep. Consider these tips to help guarantee a good night’s snooze.
Wear Comfy Sleepwear
What you wear to bed can affect the quality of your sleep. Itchy or tight garments can be very uncomfortable, thus getting in the way of your rest. You may also be prone to constantly adjusting your clothes, which can disrupt your sleep and keep you up at night. That’s why it’s worth it to invest in high-quality men or women sleepwear items that are soft, well-fitting, and comfortable on your skin. With proper sleepwear, you’ll have better chances of falling asleep quickly and securing healthy, deep sleep.
Prepare Your Mind and Body for Bed
You may also have trouble falling asleep because you feel stressed about your work or personal life. A soothing bedtime routine may be just what you need to help your mind and body relax and facilitate the rest that you need.
Try practising yoga, meditation, and journaling to ease your mind. You can also try providing clear cues to your body to start winding down, for example by reading a book or taking a warm bath or shower. If you still find yourself tossing and turning after more than 15 minutes of trying to sleep, get up and do a relaxing activity until you feel a little drowsier.
Create a Bedroom Environment Conducive to Sleep
On top of preparing your mind and body for bedtime, you must also ensure that your space is conducive to a good night’s rest. This means making your bedroom a cool, dark, and quiet place that can help you drift off.
To optimize your bedroom environment, reduce the amount of external noise and light that comes into it at night. Shut the curtains or blinds before going to bed, and turn off all the overhead lights. If you have the habit of reading before bed, use a nightlight with a warm lightbulb.
In addition, set the room’s thermostat to a comfortable level. While this may vary per person, experts recommend setting the temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjustments like these will make your bedroom a quiet and relaxing space, which is what you need for good sleep.
Reduce Exposure to Blue Light Before Bed
It may be tempting to scroll through your phone, thinking it will help you tire out faster. But in truth, you’ll likely achieve the opposite result. That’s because blue light from gadgets can trick your mind into thinking it’s still daytime, thus affecting your circadian rhythm or natural body clock. Generally, your circadian rhythm tells your body when it’s time to wake up and go to sleep. Exposure to blue light at night can hamper your circadian rhythm and keep your body from producing the hormone melatonin, which helps you relax and promotes deep sleep.
That said, consider turning off your phone or silencing all notifications an hour before going to bed. It’s also a good idea to place your phone and other gadgets far away from your bed so you’ll be less tempted to reach for them when you wake up in the middle of the night.
Get Plenty of Sunshine during the Day
When it’s still daytime, expose your body to as much natural light as you can. Exposure to sunlight during the day improves your energy and sleep duration. This helps your body regain a healthy circadian rhythm and, as such, improves your sleep quality.
Spend time outside every day to get your dose of natural light and fresh air, and make sure to get some sunlight into your home spaces. If you live in a region where some months have limited sunlight, invest in artificial bright light devices or bulbs and keep these on during the hours that you’re supposed to be awake.
Avoid Drinking Caffeine Late in the Day
While a morning cup of coffee is a good way to start your day, consuming a few more servings nearer to your bedtime may affect the quality of your sleep at night. Caffeine can stimulate your nervous system, and consuming caffeine can keep your body from relaxing at night.
Consuming caffeinated food and beverages can also elevate your blood pressure for six to eight hours. As such, consuming large amounts of caffeine past 3:00PM or 4:00PM in the afternoon may keep you wide awake and even make you feel like you’re palpitating when it’s time to go to bed. If you crave a cup of coffee in the late afternoon, consider reaching for a decaffeinated one instead.
Getting quality sleep at night is essential to staying healthy. If you have a hard time falling and staying asleep, do your best to adopt healthier habits. With a few adjustments to both your daytime and nighttime routine, you’ll be closer to getting a good night’s rest—plus all the physical, mental, and emotional health benefits that come with it.