Getting adequate shut-eye bodes well for optimal health and an energized spirit. Conversely, insufficient sleep wreaks havoc on emotional and cognitive states and can even precipitate health issues. With that said, allowing your body to recharge is vital. While the prospect of falling asleep and staying asleep entices most, many have difficulty catching some Zs. If this notion resonates with you, here are some helpful suggestions on how to get a good night’s rest.
Say No To Caffeine In The Evening
Though you may be tempted to sip on a cup of joe to catch your third or fourth wind, consuming caffeine late at night is the kiss of death for a night of slumber. Studies suggest that you shouldn’t indulge in caffeine six hours before bedtime. Caffeine triggers the nervous system and, in turn, keeps you alert. When it’s time to rest your head on your pillow, the recent coffee you consumed may make it seemingly impossible to relax. For the sake of allowing your mind and body to decompress, opt for decaffeinated beverages instead.
Find A Comfortable Temperature
There’s a direct correlation between your body temperature and sleep quality. If your bedroom is exceptionally cold or miserably hot, tweak the temperature. If the room is too cold, your body is likely to tense up. On the other hand, warm environments can lead to excessive tossing and turning. Both of these can prove rather distracting, making falling asleep an uphill battle. A moderate temperature to consider is 70 degrees.
It’s not uncommon for stress and anxiety to surface right before bed. Unfortunately, a busy mind begets a busy body. When your mind and body are in cahoots, it’ll impact your sleep. Before falling asleep, clear your mind. Some relaxation techniques to consider include meditation, reading a book, taking a hot bath, and visualization. If you make earnest efforts to rid your mind of toxic thoughts, you’ll notice a significant improvement in the quality of your sleep.
Try A Weighted Blanket
One sleep improvement fad that’s taking the public by storm is weighted blankets. Much like their name suggests, these blankets are heavy and designed to add pressure to the body. This pressure gives the illusion that you’re being held, which provides peace of mind and comfort. The calming effect that weighted blankets offer is linked to increased serotonin. A boost in serotonin levels creates a healthy, relaxed mind.
Establish A Routine
Our bodies respond positively to routine. If you’re falling asleep at different times each night, rework your schedule. As a result, your body will know when it’s time for bed. Listening to your body can be a challenge, but when your eyelids get heavy, and your energy levels deplete, you’ll be able to fall asleep lickety-split. It may take some time to establish a routine, so don’t get discouraged if it feels like your attempts are in vain. With time, your body will adjust.
Limit Screen Time At Night
Electronic devices emit unhealthy amounts of blue light. By exposing yourself to blue light before bed, it tricks your brain into thinking that it’s daytime. If you insist on making phone or laptop usage a part of your night time routine, some sensible solutions include wearing glasses that block blue light and installing an app that reduces blue light exposure. For optimum results, it’s best to keep your blue light exposure to a minimum at least two hours before going to bed.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
Alcohol has a negative influence on melatonin production. Given that melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep patterns, alcohol should be avoided at all costs before bed. What’s more, if you’re prone to snoring, alcohol can compound this condition. In severe circumstances, it can cause sleep apnea. Both snoring and sleep apnea block your breathing, which is a terrifying reality. In the hopes of getting a good night’s sleep that doesn’t pose risks to your health, don’t drink alcohol before heading to bed.
Cut Out Naps
If you’re an avid napper and find that falling asleep is a challenge, it may be time to bid farewell to your midday pick-me-ups. Naps decrease sleep drive, meaning your body is less willing to go to bed during normal bedtime hours. If napping is something that your body needs, do so around lunchtime. When the evening hours roll around, you’ll be able to fall asleep without having to count sheep.