We all want to fall asleep easily, sleep well, and wake up rejuvenated and ready for the day ahead. But lots of things get in the way of a good night’s sleep: anxiety, illness, discomfort and bad habits, to name a few. You can’t control all of the variables that affect your sleep, but there are simple steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the best rest possible.
Schedule Your Sleep
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (including weekends and holidays) to regulate your body’s sleep/wake cycle.
Create A Bedtime Routine
Whether it’s a warm shower, a cup of tea and a book, or a candle and soft music, simple rituals that help you wind down and relax will help prepare your mind and body for a good night’s sleep.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool and Comfortable
Bedrooms should be kept dark and comfortably cool at night. When shopping for bed linens and pajamas, choose fabrics that breathe, like 100% cotton.
Eat (and Drink) Right–But Not Right Before Bed
Plan to eat dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime. Watch out for spicy or acidic foods, which can cause heartburn. Avoid both caffeine and alcohol. Most people know better than to indulge in an evening espresso, but many don’t realize that alcohol, while it can help you fall asleep faster, actually has a negative effect on overall sleep quality.
Exercise During The Day
Engaging in physical activity during the day helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply at night. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime (in fact, there may be reason to work out as early as possible!).
Cut Screen Time
Try to put away electronic devices and turn off the TV a couple of hours before turning in. Studies have shown that the screens on our devices have the same effect on our brains as sunlight–it wakes us up.