We’re sure you will agree that you feel and perform better at work after you’ve had a solid night’s sleep. It’s even been proven that our bodies function better when we’re well-rested.
According to the Dalai Lama, “Sleep is the best meditation.” The problem is that many of us suffer from too little or low quality sleep. Here are some good habits that are easy to implement and will help you sleep better at night.
Prepare for Bed
Often people don’t prepare for sleep. They go directly from doing a stimulating activity like watching television, straight into bed, and expect to fall asleep. In this case, your brain is still in active mode.
Create a bedtime routine to prepare your mind for sleep. Take a shower or warm bath, dim the lights in your bedroom, and get changed into pajamas. These activities focus your brain on the fact that sleep is coming so it can prepare.
Update Your Bed
Choose a mattress that suits your needs best. If you have posture problems, then a harder mattress will be better for you. Find out more about the best firm mattress for your body type and sleeping habits before you go to purchase one.
A high-quality mattress makes all the difference in the way you feel when you wake up in the morning. Considering it should last you 8-10 years, it’s an investment worth making.
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Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol
We’re sure you’ve been told more than once not to drink coffee before bedtime, and in this case, it’s true. Caffeine and alcohol are both stimulants and will keep you awake.
We all know that caffeine wakes us up, but did you know that alcohol can actually interfere with your melatonin production? It affects the natural sleep rhythms and disrupts sleep during the night.
Personally I have no problems sleeping after a late night coffee, and I quite enjoy one before I go to bed. But this is not for everyone. Cut it out and check to see if it affects your sleep.
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Ditch Digital Devices
Lying in bed and scrolling through social media is a bad habit. The neurons are firing away in excitement from seeing the latest cat videos. It’s not even remotely focusing on winding down and sleeping.
According to research, you should switch off all devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed. It gives your mind a chance to switch off and focus on sleep.
For me personally it is a case of leaving the mobile downstairs. I sleep far better when it is out of sight than I do when I know it is around. It takes time to get into a habit of not being with it, but it can make a big difference in your sleep pattern.
Reduce Daytime Naps
When a day gets jam-packed and stressful, a few people like to take an afternoon nap to get a boost for the rest of the day. This can be very beneficial for you as it improves your alertness and performance.
The critical thing to remember is that a nap shouldn’t be longer than 20-30 minutes. Any longer than that, and your mind starts to think it’s going into long term sleep, and this is what messes up your sleep patterns.
Consistent Sleep Patterns
Keep your bedtime and your waking time consistent, even on weekends. Your body aligns with the sunrise and sunset, and your circadian functions are set on that loop.
Remaining consistent with your bedtime and waking time can aid the long-term quality of your sleep.
In years gone by, dinner used to be eaten during the late afternoon and was quite a heavy meal. Supper, on the other hand, was a light snack late in the evening, and therefore not heavy on the stomach.
If you eat a huge meal before going to bed, your body is concentrating on digestion rather than releasing HGH and melatonin, which promotes sleep. Try not to eat a big meal two to three hours before bedtime. If you are hungry, have a small snack such as an apple or a cracker with a slice of cheese.
Enhance your Sleep Area
Be mindful of light, noise, and temperature when optimizing your bedroom. Wherever possible, minimize the chances of light coming into the bedroom, and close doors and windows to dim any noise.
Thick curtains that close completely will help in getting rid of external lights such as street lights. If you can’t keep the noise out naturally, get some earplugs to give you the peace you need.
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This is a habit that won’t only improve your sleep but will give you endless other benefits. Exercise helps your body to work better in every possible way, including tiring you out so you can sleep.
Exercising out in the sunshine helps the natural circadian rhythm, and increases your body’s production of sleep hormones. Your body tends to work more efficiently when it feels healthy.
De-stress and Release
Sometimes days can be stressful, and we carry this anxiety home in the evenings. A vital habit of getting into if you want a good night’s sleep is to let go of the day’s worries.
Whether you meditate, write in your journal, or do a focused activity such as yoga, it’s beneficial because it clears your mind. If you’re calm and your thoughts are clear, you will find it a lot easier to sleep.
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There are things you can do for those of you who struggle to get a night of good sleep. Creating an atmosphere that promotes rest is essential, and before going to bed, limit your caffeine, alcohol, and food intake.
Try to switch off your digital devices when getting ready for bed. When you’re finally ready to sleep, letting go of the day’s worries will ensure that you rest snugly and more comfortable on your ideal mattress.