Many of us have woken up in the morning and felt like we haven’t spent any time asleep. We shuffle towards the kitchen, and desperately hope that a cup of coffee will help us join the productive masses of society. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
A miserable night’s rest can have a massively disruptive effect on our daily lives, make us feel less productive, and even make you sick. Quality sleep isn’t just important; it’s vital. Here are a few top proven habits to help you sleep better at night.
Create a Nightly Bedtime Routine
Our minds can be amazing when it comes to creating habits. You can use a nightly routine to take advantage of that.
About thirty minutes before bed, turn off any bright lights or screens, and avoid any stimuli. Take a refreshing shower, read a book, or listen to calming music. Going to bed at the same time every night is also a good habit.
In time, your body will begin to associate this ritual with ‘bedtime’, and you’ll find it much easier to go to sleep.
Preserve Your Sleeping Space
You wouldn’t take a nap on your office desk, so don’t work in your bed. Your brain can associate certain places and actions with events. In other words, if you’re working or watching TV in bed, your body will associate that space with activities for which you need to be awake and alert.
Reserve your bed for sleep or bedroom activities. It’s also a good idea to create a certain ambiance in your bedroom.
Try to prevent any light from outside coming into your room and reduce your exposure to any blue light before bed. In fact, keep your room dark, neutral, quiet, and as relatively cool as possible.
Fluids, Alcohol, and Caffeine
Alcohol, coffee, and chocolates are all stimulants. Even though drinking a cup of coffee before bed might feel like it relaxes you, it will disrupt your sleep cycle, and so will any alcohol. If you’re going to have any of these, try to do so at least six hours before bed.
What’s worse is that many of these drinks and snacks can cause nighttime acid reflux. Not only will you struggle with staying asleep, but you might also cough yourself awake.
Finally, while it’s important to stay hydrated, a full bladder can disrupt your sleep. Try to have your last drink of water or milk about two hours before you go to sleep to avoid midnight bladder breaks.
Trouble Falling Asleep
You’re in bed, tossing and turning, thinking, and stressing about everything you need to get done. No matter how hard you try to convince your body to go to sleep, nothing seems to be working. Here’s a tip: stop trying to fall asleep.
Counterintuitive as that might sound, get up instead of piling on more anxiety because you can’t fall asleep. Try to read something or practice a few relaxation techniques. Once you’re more relaxed or tired, get back in bed.
Bonus Tip: Visit the Doctor
Several conditions can disrupt your sleep, and you might not even be aware that you’re suffering from them. Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, sleep apnea and snoring, and restless leg syndrome are all medical conditions that can leave you feeling exhausted in the mornings.
If you suspect that you’re suffering from a medical condition, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Some private health insurance coverage providers may even cover the treatments for these issues.