6 Healthy Sleep Habits
Trying to get to sleep each night can be a hassle and having a rough night of sleep makes you wake up groggy, crabby and unenthusiastic about the day ahead of you. By making just a few small adjustments to your nighttime routine, which can include creating new ambiance, adding natural sleep aids, and cutting out distractions, you could see dramatic improvements in your sleep.
1. Put away the cellphone.
Artificial light actually is doing harm to your sleep schedule. Check Facebook, email and unread texts in the morning and it won’t cause near as many issues for you.
2. Make a schedule…and stick to it!
This may seem so simple, or maybe it does not seem like an actual solution, but by setting a sleep schedule and sticking to it regularly, you will be helping your body’s clock to regulate and it will more easily be ready for sleep at night. Aim to get between seven to eight hours of sleep a night, so if you need to be at work by nine, decide how much time you need to get up and get ready in the morning, and plan accordingly.
Remember that going to bed does not mean you will immediately fall asleep, so your schedule should have you going to bed slightly earlier than when you actually need to be asleep.
3. Avoid all artificial lights in your room.
Natural light is actually going to be your best friend when it comes to getting yourself to sleep and waking up in the morning. Once you are on a regular sleep schedule you may even welcome the bright sun shining into your room each morning.
The light from your cell phone, tablet or TV can trick your brain into thinking that it is day time and that you should be awake or else waking up. Keep your room darker when you are getting ready for bed and leave the TV off. If you really cannot sleep, try reading a book instead.
4. Don’t eat a large meal before bed.
When it is time to go to sleep, your body already knows what’s coming and begins to wind down. This includes your metabolism, so eating a large meal before bed actually will upset your stomach and may even cause heartburn. Many of our favorite late night snacks are high in sugars, caffeine and fats, like chocolate and ice cream.
5. Make your bedroom into your ideal sleep environment.
Consider banning television in your bedroom and save it for the living or family room. Keep your bedroom reserved for sleeping in the evenings.
Keep the temperature in your room dialed down; your body sleeps better in a cool room, around 67 degrees, but it’s that’s too cold for you, adjust it to your comfort. Your bed should be comfortable and the lights off or dimmed. If you need a fan or humidifier choose a quiet model, and keep it in good working condition, dust and mold-free.
6. Take a bath or shower just before bed.
Taking a bath or shower before bed often helps you to relax and get to sleep faster. The warm water will help your muscles relax and you’ll be able to let your mind relax as well. Be sure to dry your hair well to help your body better regulate temperature throughout the night.
Try adjusting your nighttime routines gradually. Start by cutting down exposure to light in the evenings, creating the perfect sleep environment, and sticking to your schedule of going to sleep around the same time each evening. You will see results!
Samantha Waites is a health and lifestyle writer on various topics of interest.