Practical Tips On How To Sleep Better At Night
Sleeping well is absolutely critical to health in all stages of life. However, now more than ever, many people are struggling with getting a good night’s sleep. From work to kids to intruding phone notifications at all hours, sleep often falls to the wayside.
Infants often require 12 + hours of sleep per 24-hour period. Children and teens need anywhere from 8 to 12 hours a day depending on age and development. Adults and seniors should be aiming for 7 to 9 hours a day.
Are you getting the right amount of sleep for your age bracket? If not, take a look at these tips on how to sleep better at night. Your body will thank you!
1. Try To Go To Sleep And Get Up At The Same Time Every Day
Going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day is definitely a good thing to do. Not only it can help you maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, but it also improves the quality of your sleep. At first, you may have to set an alarm to help you wake up at the same time every morning, but after a while, you should be able to do that on your own (without the use of any alarm)
2. Use Napping To Your Advantage
“I'm beginning to appreciate the value of naps. Naps are wonderful, aren't they? Sometimes now I have to take a nap to get ready for bed..” ― Marsha Warfield
Napping is a great way to get a few extra hours of sleep. Try to keep your naps short (30 minutes or less) and don’t take them at odd hours. For most people, napping early in the afternoon (before 3 pm) is the best way to go.
3. Turn Off The TV And Other Electronic Devices Before Going To Bed
Many people love to watch TV or simply scroll through social media feeds on their Smartphones and tablets, but electronics of all kinds emit blue light, which can interfere with our body’s natural circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion (melatonin is the hormone responsible for making us sleepy). If you want to have a good night’s sleep, make sure to turn your TV off and put your Smartphone away at least an hour before bedtime.
4. Spend More Time Outside During Daylight
Spending more time outside during daylight can help you keep your circadian rhythm healthy, which in turn can improve both the duration and quality of your sleep. Going outside is not only good for your physical health but also your mental health. This is often not included in most tips on how to sleep better at night, but it can be effective especially for those who have a hard time sleeping at night.
5. Avoid Bright Light In The Evening
Just like your body reacts energetically to sunlight, you also want to signal that it’s time to go to bed in the evening. Dim those lights and avoid direct, bright light in the evening hours. This will naturally slow your body down and prepare it for sleep. It can also help curb eye strain and migraines if you find that you are prone to those.
6. Choose A Comfortable Mattress And Pillow
You can’t sleep if you aren’t comfortable. Choose the right mattress and pillow (as well as blankets, etc) to keep you comfortable all night long. If something isn’t working for you, keep experimenting until you find the right combination that will help you both get to sleep and stay asleep so that you wake up feeling fresh, energized and ache-free.
7. Consider Using Some Natural Sleep Aids
While sleep aids aren’t great to rely on as your only source of sleep (it doesn’t offer the same quality of sleep), you can consider natural options such as melatonin or chamomile. These supplements can help give your body a nudge in feeling sleepy at the right times, which is always a plus.
8. Make Sure Everything Is Set To Help You Sleep Well
While this can refer to blankets and pillows, it also refers to the idea of the room itself. Is the room too cold or too warm? Are there any noises or other distractions that can disturb your sleep? Do you have your phone on or something else that is going to light up and distract you as you’re trying to sleep — or wake you up in the middle of the night? It’s important to make sure that your room is comfortable and effective for a great sleep every single night.
9. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is good for you for a lot of reasons and one of those reasons is going to be in helping you fall asleep. Regardless of the exercise itself, your body is going to work hard and you’ll find that you are physically fatigued after a good workout. This will make it easier for your body to wind down at the end of the day. It’s important not to exercise right before bed unless it’s something like soothing yoga or other slow stretches that are specifically designed to help you relax.
10. Watch Your Diet
The food you eat is a vital determinant of what becomes of your health. Every human needs good food and drinks to stay healthy. An unhealthy diet can lead to many health challenges including obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes. Eating healthy on the other hand is a good habit to develop if you want to improve the quality of your sleep and live a better life
The day starts in the morning and you should not skip breakfast if you are serious about improving your health. Eat nuts, fruits, veggies, whole grain products, lean proteins, fishes containing healthy fats, and low-fat dairy products. Opt for whole foods instead of processed foods (at least when you have the chance to do so) and make sure to keep your intake of sugar and salt in check.
Another еѕѕеntiаl соmроnеnt оf a hеаlthу diet iѕ plenty of рurе wаtеr. Yоur body iѕ almost 70% wаtеr. Purifуing аnd rерlеniѕhing thiѕ еlеmеnt iѕ сritiсаl to уоur health so make it a habit to drink more water every day.
Note: Try to avoid drinking lots of liquids at night as this can lead to frequent trips to the bathroom (some people have a hard time going back to sleep after they wake up to go to the bathroom).
Planning Your Meals in advance is also a good habit to develop. If you don't plan your meals in advance, chances are you will end up eating a lot of unhealthy and processed foods.
11. Limit Your Daily Intake Of Caffeine And Alcohol
Both caffeine and alcohol can keep you up at all hours and cause a lot of disruption to your body’s natural rhythms. Try to limit your daily intake of caffeine and alcohol (if you happen to drink) and make sure that you don’t have any of these things after supper in the evenings.
12. If You Are Hungry, Eat A Light Snack Before Going To Bed
There’s nothing worse than being kept up at night because you’re hungry. Eat a light snack before bed, but don’t overeat, and remember to stay away from sugar and other stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol. Some good examples of bedtime snacks include:
Low-fat milk or cheese
Healthy protein shakes
Low-fat yogurt with fresh fruits on top
2 tablespoons of peanuts or almond butter
A small bowl of cereal with chia seeds and skim milk
Baby carrots with low-fat cheese
One serving of almonds or pistachios
13. Find A Way To Relax And Clear Your Mind
Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Most of us find that we are kept up at night because our mind is spinning. While preparing for bed is a huge part of settling things down, you can also take a look at these relaxing options as well:
Listening to soothing and calming music.
Reading a book
Practice some relaxation techniques or exercises such as diaphragmatic breathing or meditation which helps quiet the mind
Getting a massage from a partner or a self-controlled machine
Taking a hot bath or shower to physically relax your muscles and your mind.