IMPROVING YOUR SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL FOR LIVING A HEALTHIER AND MORE PRODUCTIVE LIFE, FOLLOW THESE 10 STEPS AND YOU'LL BE ON YOUR WAY TO A BETTER NIGHT'S SLEEP:
1. Pick a number
When deciding how long to schedule your nightly snooze, and when, all sleepers are not created equal. Your perfect amount of time in bed depends on your age. To find your sweet spot within the recommended range, try some different hours and see what feels best.
2. Keep a sleep log
No one knows what your body needs better than… your body! Keeping a sleep log can help you figure out what bedtimes feel best, and how long you prefer to be sleeping. This will help you plan for future restful nights and keeps you more in tune with what your body needs.
3. Fuel your rest
No one wants to fall asleep on an empty stomach, but fullness before bed is just as dangerous. If you eat a big dinner, make sure you are done eating at least three hours before you plan on falling asleep. If you usually have a smaller nighttime snack, 1-2 hours before bed should be fine. Make sure the before-bed snack is something easy to digest, and stay away from caffeine! Whatever you choose, make sure it is a small portion so your body is done digesting before you hit the pillow.
Tracking food before bed in your sleep log can also help you figure out what is right for you!
4. Time your hydration
Just like food, water is essential for a good night’s sleep. However, waking up at three o’ clock in the morning to pee is disruptive to those essential hours of rest. If you often wake up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, you might need to rethink your hydration before bed. The better hydrated you stay during the day allows you to drink less at night, stopping 80 minutes before bed so you can sleep the night without bathroom breaks.
Tough, I know, but keeping your bed area free from electronics will help you sleep better. Aim to stop using your phone or computer 30 minutes before bed time. Maybe that means powering off before you brush your teeth and wash your face. If you wake up to a phone alarm and need to have it nearby for the morning, try to avoid scrolling through social media feeds as you fall asleep.
6. Keep it cool
Sleeping in a cool, dark room helps your body go to sleep and helps it to maintain that sleep. If you live somewhere warm, try sleeping with a fan. Bonus is that you’ll always be able to sneak under some heavy covers, getting cozy and well prepared for a great night’s sleep.
7. Dress for the occasion
Part of your bedtime routine should include sleep wear. It doesn’t matter what that might be, but try to keep it designated for bed. Putting on your sleep clothes will help signal to your body that it is bedtime, making it easier for you to fall asleep.
8. Support your sleep
Do you have back pain? Neck pain? Wake up feeling stiff or sore? There are a variety of support pillows that can help you find your perfect position for a good night’s snooze.
9. Count sheep, really
If you find your mind buzzing right when you try to close your eyes and fall asleep, try a mindfulness exercise like counting down from 100 or counting with your breath. This will relax your body and mind, bringing you into a better position to fall asleep.
If you have one takeaway from this post, it should be that sleep routine means a lot. Aim to try out all these tips, and once you find what works, do the same thing every day! The more consistent you are with these tips, the better your sleep will be.