How to get better sleep

Limit what you eat and drink before bed. Do not go to bed hungry or when your stomach feels too full. Eat dinner a couple of hours before going to be. Be careful not to drink too much of anything before bed so that you’re not waking up often in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Coffee and caffeine should always be avoided a few hours prior to bed. Alcohol may make you feel more tired, but actually dehydrates you and causes you to wake up at random hours of the night.

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Get more exercise. Exercise promotes better sleep as it helps you fall asleep faster and puts your body into a deeper sleep. People who are physically fit and healthy are much less likely to experience problems sleeping. However, avoid exercising right before bedtime. It takes your body a few hours to return to a resting state. 

Avoid stress. Too much stress or worry keeps our minds running all day and all night, often causing us to stay up all night since our brains cannot settle down. Prioritize your life; get organized, have a daily schedule, practice good time management, and always make time for fun activities that you enjoy.

Maintain a sleep schedule. No matter what day it is, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Going to bed around the same time every night can help your body recognize when it is time for sleep.  If you can’t get to sleep right away, get out of bed and do something to relax your mind until you’re tired enough to go back to bed and fall asleep. Avoid sedatives, such as sleeping pills - their effects are not permanent and can actually hurt you in the long run.

Keep your room dark. Keep the lights in your bedroom dim, make sure you have curtains to block out excessive sunlight at peak hours of the morning, or invest in a sleeping mask if necessary. Sleeping in dark environments allows our bodies to produce more melatonin, an important hormone for proper sleep.

Check your room temperature. Being too hot or too cold can disrupt a good night's sleep. The best temperature for a good night’s sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Try not to nap midday. Taking naps after work or later in the day can cause you to stay up later at night, when it’s actually time for bed. Try to avoid naps eight hours before bedtime. If a nap is imperative, aim for twenty minutes or less, and do as early as possible. If you feel like napping later in the day, do an activity to wake yourself up like going for a run or even drinking some ice cold water.

Have a relaxing bedtime routine. During the hour before bedtime, do similar relaxing activities each night to ease your mind and prepare it for sleep. Reading a book or taking a warm bath can help put you in a mental state of relaxation. Avoid watching television or staring at your computer or iPhone before bedtime.