Simple Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
At this point, we all know how important getting the right amount of sleep is. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night has many health benefits, so it’s an absolute must if you want to keep your body running smoothly from head to toe. However, sleeping well is easier said than done! It’s so frustrating to lie down and snuggle under the covers, only to stay awake with that tense, stressful can’t-fall-asleep feeling. Fear not — there are ways you can fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer. Find out how!
Set a Regular Bedtime
Remember how much you hated bedtime as a kid? Well, now it’s time to change your mind! Setting a regular time to sleep will help you fall asleep with more ease because your body will get used to going to bed at that time. And you’ll naturally start to feel sleepy around then.
Think about what time you’ll have to wake up in the morning and pick a bedtime that allows you to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep. If that time is much earlier than you’re used to, it’s okay to not make such a big change to your schedule all of a sudden. Move your bedtime 15 minutes earlier each day until you get to the time that allows for 7 or 8 hours.
Get Your Body Moving
There are lots and lots of good reasons to exercise, and getting better sleep is one of them. Working out does more than just keep you healthy and maintain your physique. It also wears you out and regulates your cardiac rhythm, and both of those things help you get a better night’s sleep!
You don’t have to do a super long workout every night. Even if you can’t fit in the time for a full gym session, you can fit in a fifteen-minute at-home workout or a twenty-minute yoga session. The ultimate goal is to expend energy so that when bedtime comes, you will be ready for it.
But don’t work out too close to your bedtime as you may find yourself too energized to get to bed. Instead, try exercising during the day. And don’t do it within two to three hours before it’s time to hit the sack.
Resist Late-Night Coffee Temptation
Are you a coffee lover? Some people are eager to drink coffee every day, and if that’s you, it’s okay — just be careful what time of day you drink your coffee! If you drink it too close to bedtime, it will keep you awake longer, and it will lower the quality of your sleep when you do fall asleep.
It’s best not to drink anything too close to bedtime, or else you will have to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. However, if it’s an hour or more before bedtime, you might want to drink some tea, but avoid caffeinated ones. Instead, opt for calming teas such as chamomile so that you can enjoy sweet, relaxing sleep.
Avoid Spicy and Sugary Dinners
The foods you eat can affect your sleep — and sometimes, the effects are not good. Meals that contain a lot of spice are known to cause indigestion. Now when was the last time you experienced heartburn? Were you comfortable? Were you able to relax? My point exactly.
Sugary dinners, on the other hand, will give you a rush of energy that you absolutely do not need when you’re trying to go to bed early. Instead of loading up on sugary and spicy foods, choose light meals that are rich in vitamins and minerals. They’re beneficial not only for your sleep but also for your overall health.
Switch Off Your Devices
Now, this is probably going to be the most difficult tip to follow. Still, it can’t go unsaid: You should not be using your phone, tablet, computer, or TV right before you go to bed! It’s best to turn those devices off at least 30-45 minutes before bedtime.
The blue light emitted from electronic devices tells your brain to stay awake! Plus, checking your email and your social media notifications is addicting, and you’ll be tempted to keep checking over and over every few minutes. If you want to fall asleep faster, put your devices aside, no matter how tough it is.
Wind Down Before Bed
Doing wind-down activities can release stress and make you feel relaxed before bed. How about reading a book? Yes, a real, physical book, not an eBook. Reading a physical book is best. But if you really feel the need to read an eBook before bed, be sure to turn the brightness down on your device so that the light doesn’t shine brightly and stimulate your eyes and brain.
Don’t feel like reading? You can try other calming activities such as knitting, sketching, journaling, meditating, or listening to relaxing music or sounds. No matter what wind-down activity you do, don’t forget to dim the lights in your room. Turn off big, bright lights and use small lamps instead.
Now, You’re Ready to Rest
Getting good sleep doesn’t have to be a complicated mystery. Once you try these tips, you’re sure to improve your sleep quality. You are going to love waking up every day feeling more rested and refreshed!
Let me know in the comments: What is your favorite way to feel relaxed before sleep?
Be Well & Thrive!
With Love & In Health,
Sarah Outlaw, MH, MSACN
- For more information on who we are and what we do at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines, browse the rest of our website. We offer Root Cause Nutrition, Nutritional Coaching, Nutrition Response Testing, Functional Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Flower Essence Therapy, and Homeopathy. We also offer detox services including an infrared sauna, and PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field therapy mat, and foot bath (DSM office). We are on the front lines of wellness for you! Health starts here!
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