How to Get a Better Night Sleep
Establish a Bedtime Routine
Establishing a good bedtime routine is a key step in getting a better night sleep. By giving yourself a regular routine ahead of sleeping, you can train yourself to feel tired and relaxed when it is time to get into bed. This way, you are more likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep during the night.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to set up a bedtime routine:
Set a bedtime
Establishing a consistent bedtime can be an effective way to promote better sleep. A regular bedtime increases the likelihood of returning to sleep quickly after waking in the middle of the night, as well as reducing the amount of time you spend lying awake at night. It is important to choose a bedtime that is consistent and allows you to get at least seven hours of sleep per night.
To make sure you stick with your chosen bedtime, it is important to plan out your daily activities carefully. Getting enough exercise during the day, avoiding stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine four-to-six hours before self-imposed bedtime, and avoiding large meals late in the evening may also help you feel sleepy at your appointed hour.
Creating a relaxing environment before heading to bed can also help improve your chances of getting a full night’s rest. Dimming lights and turning off electronic devices can create an atmosphere conducive for winding down before getting into bed. Additionally, engaging in calming activities such as reading or taking a warm bath may help signal relaxation and be beneficial in preparing for a restful night’s sleep. Finally, incorporating relaxing breathing techniques into your evening routine has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and promote relaxation for more restful sleep.
When it comes to getting a good night’s rest, avoiding caffeine is essential. Caffeine is a stimulant, which means that it can make it harder to relax and fall asleep. Caffeine can even stay in the body for up to six hours after consuming, so it’s best to avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages, especially after 2 p.m.
Drinking herbal teas or warm milk before bedtime can help your body relax, instead of leaving you feeling energetic and restless. Avoiding alcohol is also important as it can interfere with sleep quality over time.
It is important to have a wind-down period before bed which begins an hour or two before you plan to sleep. During this period, it is best to avoid screens of all types – phones, tablets, televisions, and computers. The Bright light from these devices has been scientifically linked with troubling sleeping patterns. This is because the blue wavelengths of light emitted from screens block the production of melatonin (sleep hormone), which makes it difficult for you to fall and stay asleep.
Therefore, it is recommended that during the night time preparation hours use calming activities such as dimming the lights in your home, listening to relaxing music, do some light stretching or take a warm bath are better ways for your mind and body to relax prior to sleep. Additionally plan out the next day ahead when creating your night time routine; make sure you have what you need for breakfast, lunch or any snacks so that stress won’t build up and keep you tossing and turning throughout the night. Having a visual reminder like a written schedule or checklist can help set your intention/mindset of on a distressed post bedtime journey while also instilling peace knowing everything is taken care of until tomorrow morning!
Create a Relaxing Bedroom Environment
Creating a relaxing environment in your bedroom can be one of the best ways to ensure you have a good night’s sleep. You can make your bedroom a haven by getting rid of clutter and adding different elements to create a calming atmosphere. The positioning and decor of the room will also play a role in your overall sleep experience.
Let’s explore some of the ways to create a relaxing bedroom environment:
Keep your bedroom dark
Creating a relaxing bedroom environment is an important component of getting a better night of sleep. To make sure your space is as restful as possible, you should start by making sure your bedroom is kept dark at night. Light-blocking curtains or blinds can help block out the light from outside and nighttime electronic activities, such as scrolling through your phone or playing video games, should be avoided in order to limit exposure to brightness that can disrupt melatonin production and interfere with sleep cycles.
In addition, it’s important to invest in blackout curtains or shades that are able to block out light during the day if you are hoping for a good nap or if you plan on sleeping in on weekends. Investing in sleep masks for both adults and children can also increase the odds of falling asleep quicker and staying asleep longer since the eyes won’t be distracted by any light sources during darkness.
Taking these steps will help make your bedroom an ideal environment for peaceful rest each night.
Use white noise
White noise is a type of sound that is equally balanced in frequency and intensity. It can be used to cover up external sounds, like those from traffic or people talking, and create a peaceful environment. Examples of white noise include: running water, wind, crackling fire, electric fan hums, air conditioner hums and diverse nature sounds such as ocean waves.
White noise can be played through an audio player or streaming device during sleep time. This can help to relax the mind by providing soothing background noise and reduce stress levels in the bedroom environment. Listening to white noise can also provide better sleep quality by blocking out other environmental noises that could cause stress or bring about unwelcome distractions.
By creating a relaxing bedroom atmosphere through the use of white noise machines or audio files, individuals can allow themselves to feel more relaxed during hours of restlessness which promotes consistent escape from intrusive external sounds. Thus allowing a better chance for individuals to acquire better night’s rest with ease and comfortability.
Invest in a comfortable mattress
The type of mattress that you choose for your bedroom can have a huge impact on your overall comfort, as well as the quality of your sleep. When shopping for a new mattress, consider the size and material to make sure the mattress will fit in your space and provide you with the best nights rest possible.
Memory foam mattresses contour to each individual’s body shape providing maximum support, while hybrid mattresses combine layers of memory foam and springs for additional comfort and bounce.
Before investing in a new mattress take time to look around, test out what feels most comfortable to you, and take into account any orthopedic issues that may be an issue. It is generally recommended to change out your mattress every 6 – 8 years depending on usage and overall condition. Investing in a high quality mattress will help create a comfortable sleeping base that can improve the overall quality of your sleep.
Exercise During the Day
Exercising during the day is a great way to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Exercise helps to reduce stress and relaxes the mind, which can help you sleep better. It also releases endorphins which can help to boost your mood. Additionally, physical activity can help to tire your body out and make it easier to fall asleep.
Let’s further explore how exercise can help you get a better night’s sleep:
Set aside time for physical activity
Most health experts agree that physical activity is a necessary component to maintaining health and well-being. To get the maximum benefit from your workout, it is recommended that you set aside time during the day to dedicate exclusively to physical activity. Depending upon your schedule, this could be as little as 10 minutes or much longer depending on your commitment level.
When determining when and how long to exercise, it’s important to know your limits and work within them. Consider the amount of free time you have each day, how tired you will feel after physical activity, and how tired you are before it begins. If at all possible, avoid exercising if your body is already exhausted from other responsibilities such as work or school tasks, childcare duties, or even leisure activities. Additionally, try to motivate yourself by setting goals for each exercise session and engaging in activities that are of interest to you – this significantly increases the chances of succeeding in staying active over the long term.
When devising an exercise schedule for yourself, consider adding three elements:
- Aerobic activities (which help burn calories)
- Strength training (which helps build muscles)
- Stretching exercises (which can help offset muscle soreness).
Aim for at least 30 minutes per day of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises such as walking or running – this helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease while also improving overall fitness levels. When appropriate add in strength-training exercises using either free weights or equipment machines at least 2 times a week; include some stretching exercises following each workout session – this will reduce soreness during recovery after strenuous workouts.
Try yoga or stretching
Yoga and stretching are both simple yet effective ways to incorporate exercises during the day. The combination of physical activity, mindful relaxation, and meditation can be a great way to relieve stress and anxiety while preparing your body for optimal sleep later at night.
Yoga is known to reduce stress, increase flexibility, assist with mobility, improve mental clarity and focus, as well as support deep breathing. When adding yoga or stretching into your daily routine start by trying light poses done for 10-15 minutes before transitioning into further poses for more intense workouts up to 30 minutes or more. Incorporating this activity into your day helps bring awareness to how your body moves making it an excellent way to stretch out muscles after a long day’s work or restore them during a midday break.
Stretching also plays a vital role in preparing the body for sleep by helping you relax and makes you more aware of tension and tightness within different parts of the body through range of motion and flexibility. Additionally, stretching is great for helping manage pain which may sit in our bodies due to past injuries or chronic conditions like lower back pain or sciatica.
When attempting any form of exercises try focusing on taking slow deep breaths throughout the stretches so that they can help you refocus while calming down any racing thoughts or feelings when you’re feeling overwhelmed by work or life activities that may be keeping you awake at night.
Avoid exercising close to bedtime
In general, it is advisable to avoid exercising close to bedtime as this can cause your body and mind to become alert and more active. Exercise increases adrenaline and endorphin levels in the body, which energizes the body and can raise heart rate and blood pressure. This can be beneficial during the day for boosting energy and improving concentration, but exercising shortly before bed can make it harder for you to relax mentally or physically.
It is best to reserve strenuous exercise for the early afternoon or late morning, allowing your body a few hours of rest and relaxation before turning in for the night. Try adding a regular routine of low impact activities like yoga or stretching into your weekly schedule. These will help keep your muscles relaxed while benefitting overall sleep quality without causing peak alertness right before bedtime.
An important part of getting a good night’s sleep is managing your stress levels. Stress can keep you up at night or cause you to wake in the middle of the night. It is important to recognize the sources of stress in your life and find ways to effectively manage them.
We will discuss some strategies for managing stress so you can get a better night’s sleep:
Mindfulness–the practice of focusing on the present moment without judgment–has been found to help with anxiety and stress-related disorders. Incorporating mindfulness into your life can be as simple as taking 20 minutes out of your day to relax and meditate. Be sure to breathe deeply, and focus on how the air feels as it enters your lungs and how the muscles in your body feel as they relax. Through this type of self-reflection, you will be able to recognize what stresses you out and practice letting go of it so that you can get a better night’s sleep.
Additionally, mindfulness can include activities such as:
- Journaling or writing poetry
- Taking a relaxing bath
- Walking outdoors
Journaling is a great way to understand your feelings and manage stress. Writing down how you feel can help to identify triggers and possible solutions, as well as provide a sense of relief. Different types of journaling offer different benefits, so experiment with a few and see what works best for you.
The structured approach – This type of journal typically involves answering questions or working through an outline of topics related to the day or week’s events. Examples include daily check-ins with yourself, noting three things you are grateful for, or listing potential solutions to any problems you faced throughout your day. This approach can help with organization and problem solving by enabling you to break down larger issues into more manageable chunks.
The reflective approach – This type of journal focuses on processing emotions in the moment. Try writing out notes when something makes you feel overwhelmed, angry or sad while also considering what external circumstances may have lead to the reaction (e.g., stress at work). You can also try writing about positive emotions such as gratitude, joy or accomplishment, giving yourself credit for something that went well in your day and reflecting on how it made you feel afterwards.
The creative approach – Draining our energy when feeling emotionally overwhelmed is natural; however turning those feelings into creative energy can be beneficial too! Use journals as a form of expression by drawing pictures that represent how your feeling, making lists about anything that comes to mind or using them as scrapbooks filled with photos from experiences in nature that bring peace and balance back into life. Having time set aside specifically for creativity can be therapeutic in itself!
Talk to a friend or family member
Talking to a friend or family member about your stress and worries can be a great relief, as it gives you an opportunity to discuss your feelings with someone who may be able to help, offer advice, and understand the situation from a different perspective. Even if you can’t find a solution, talking about it can help take some of the pressure off. Close friends and family members might also have useful insight into how you’ve been coping with stress that could provide new ways of managing your emotions.
It is vital to make sure you’re talking to someone who has empathy and won’t make judgments on your experiences or thoughts. Take care when choosing who to rely on for emotional support. Many people find that talking to an unbiased professional like a therapist, strong listener, teacher or mentor may help them process their thoughts and feelings more effectively than speaking with family or friends. This is especially helpful if the source of stress includes relationships in which communication may be difficult or complicated due to dynamics such as power imbalance or history of conflict.
Adjust Your Diet
Diet plays an important role in getting a good night’s sleep. Foods that are high in carbs and sugars and the caffeine found in coffee and energy drinks can all interfere with your sleep. Eating a balanced diet that includes healthy sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats can help you sleep better. Additionally, avoiding large meals and snacks close to bedtime will help too.
Let’s look at some more ways to adjust your diet to improve your sleep:
Avoid eating late at night
Eating and sleeping are important aspects of health and when it comes to diet, timing is key. Eating late at night can not only lead to increased calorie consumption, but can also make it more difficult to fall asleep. Eating late at night increases the stomach’s activity, meaning that your body’s digestion process is at its peak when you are trying to wind down for bed. This may result in unpleasant physical symptoms such as indigestion or heartburn.
Additionally, eating late may increase blood sugar levels shortly before bedtime which can make it harder to get good rest. Better sleep hygiene recommends avoiding eating food 2-3 hours before going to bed due to the fact that your body requires time and energy to digest what you ate efficiently.
To avoid eating late at night, plan ahead by having lighter dinner meals earlier in the evening and introducing light snacks such as:
- raw vegetables
instead of foods rich in carbohydrates or sugars which trigger the body’s insulin production leading to an energy surge just before bedtime. Additionally, limiting liquid intake close to bedtime is beneficial as this helps reduce needing multiple bathroom trips during the night resulting in a more restful sleep experience!
Alcohol may make you feel drowsy, but it’s not the kind of sleep your body needs. The Harvard Health Blog states “Alcohol may help you fall asleep but it keeps you from reaching the deep, restorative stages of sleep. Over time, poor sleep can lead to daytime fatigue and a weakened immune system and affect mood, concentration and your body’s ability to repair itself.”
Try cutting out drinks (especially caffeinated beverages) close to bedtime in order to get a better night’s sleep. Also aim to avoid drinking too much during the day as this can disrupt your nighttime routine and sleeping cycle – both of which are essential for healthy living. Instead, opt for mindful hydration throughout the day with water or tea that is decaffeinated.
Additionally, focus on eating a balanced diet combined with regular exercise which can help promote better sleep habits.
Eat foods that promote sleep
In order to promote a good night’s sleep, it is important to consume foods that will not just keep you full, but also provide you with essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are necessary for a restful night of sleep.
Adequate protein is essential for healthy sleep; this can be achieved by eating foods such as lean meats, eggs, organ meats and fish. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains and legumes are also beneficial when it comes to getting a better night’s rest. Eating fruits and vegetables rich in potassium and magnesium can help the body relax. Leafy green vegetables offer sources of both these minerals while melon can be especially helpful because it contains serotonin, which is an important neurotransmitter for promoting sleep.
It is important to remember to avoid eating large meals late at night that are high in fats or sugar since those can make falling asleep harder. Additionally, drinking alcohol or beverages containing caffeine several hours prior to going to bed should be avoided. If one finds they have difficulty staying asleep throughout the night they may need more sources of tryptophan such as dairy products or certain nuts like cashews which could help them feel more relaxed in order to get a good night’s sleep.