A good night’s sleep is the cornerstone of your health.
Getting enough rest that is also good sleep means you have the energy to tackle each day. It improves your moods, freshens your mind, lowers your stress, boosts your beauty routine, and makes you feel good.
If you find yourself having trouble falling or staying asleep at night, try these seven steps to upgrade the quality of your snooze. Soon you’ll get the best rest of your life — every night.
Step One: Create A Bedtime Schedule
Getting to sleep is a lot easier when your body is in the habit of going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day.
Put together a sleep schedule that works by starting at your ideal wake-up time and working backward. Plan to give yourself around eight hours of sleep. And make sure you add in time before bed to start winding down.
Naps shouldn’t be any later than the early afternoon and for no more than 30 minutes to avoid disrupting your schedule.
Set your bedtime for when you’re naturally tired. Pay attention to your body. It will let you know when it’s starting to wind down for the night. That way, you can go right to sleep without tossing and turning.
You may find that you start to wake up in the mornings without needing an alarm clock!
Even on the weekends, try not to let your schedule vary by more than an hour earlier or later. If you start staying up super late on the weekends, it will be that much harder to get back on track when Monday rolls around.
An afternoon binge session is just as fun as staying up until 2:30 am in front of the tv.
Step Two: Set Up Your Sleep Space
Now let’s address your bedroom.
Just because you have a bed and some covers doesn’t mean your bedroom is a great place to sleep. Creating an environment for fantastic rest is at the top of the list of priorities.
You can’t sleep well if you’re distracted or uncomfortable.
Here’s how to set up your bedroom for a better night’s sleep:
- Keep the room dark and cool (around 65°F)
- No distractions in your bedroom, such as a tv or tablet
- Cover any outside noise with a fan or noise machine
- Choose a comfortable bed that’s the best fit for you.
Choosing a mattress can be intimidating, but it’s also incredibly important. If you’re tossing and turning at night or waking up with aches and pains in the morning, you probably need a more suitable mattress to get your best rest.
Once you have your space set up, only use it for sleeping.
We can’t stress it enough — don’t use your bed for everyday tasks. Eating, working, and watching tv should all be done somewhere else while your bed is reserved just for sleeping.
Your brain will make the connection all on its own. Bed = sleep.
When you climb into bed after a long day, your mind will know by association what time it is and have a much easier time falling and staying asleep.
Step Three: Get Sunlight During The Day
Your circadian rhythm runs on daylight. It counts on the sun to let your body know when it’s time to wake up and go to sleep.
A tale as old as time.
By exposing yourself to sunlight in the morning, as early as humanly possible, you let your body know it’s time to wake up for the day. It’s the natural alarm clock dinging away in your head so the rest of you can follow suit.
It’s crucial to keep that clock wound.
Sunlight gives you energy during the day and helps you get more restful sleep at night because it keeps your circadian rhythm healthy.
If you find it difficult to get sun exposure in the mornings, use an artificial light lamp to mimic sunlight instead. It works just as well to alert your brain that it’s time to “wakey wakey” for “eggs and bakey.”
Step Four: Exercise In The Morning
There are plenty of benefits to working out in the morning. One of which happens to be improving your quality of sleep at night.
Morning exercise is really the best of both worlds. It gets your blood pumping and your muscles moving first thing so that you have the energy you need to take on the day. And in turn, it works the stresses out of your body so that when bedtime rolls around, you’re more than ready to curl up and rest.
Any exercise from a leisurely walk to a full-on gym session promotes better sleep.
On the flip side, working out too close to bedtime can have the opposite effect. Because it stimulates your body and makes you alert, exercise can make it more difficult for you to get to sleep.
That’s why you shouldn’t work out within three hours of bedtime unless you’re doing something relaxing like yoga.
Step Five: Avoid Certain Foods Before Bed
Watch what you’re eating and drinking in the two to three hours before you go to sleep. Some foods and drinks can interfere with your ability to sleep as well as your quality of rest.
Avoid stimulates like caffeine and nicotine that can disrupt your sleep cycle and keep you awake longer than you’d like.
Eating big meals close to bedtime may upset your stomach and make it difficult for you to fall asleep. And drinking too many liquids will make you have to get up and go to the bathroom, interrupting your rest.
Limit your alcohol consumption as drinking too much will affect your quality of sleep.
If you’re feeling hungry before bed, have a small snack to help you sleep.
A few good choices include:
- Whole-Grain Cereal
- Yogurt and Granola
- Peanut Butter
- Scrambled Eggs
- Turkey Sandwich
Step Six: Turn Off Your Devices
Bright lights, especially the kind of blue light emitted from your devices, suppress melatonin. That makes it more difficult for you to wind down and fall asleep.
The scrolling you’re doing on social media while lying in bed isn’t going to help you get tired.
Try to avoid watching tv right before bed, as it can stimulate you rather than relax you. There’s a good chance you’ll get into the habit of “just one more episode” and push your bedtime later, giving yourself less time to sleep.
Ideally, plan to give yourself an hour or two before going to bed without television, computers, or tablets. That way, your circadian rhythm can do its magic.
But, of course, that’s not always possible.
If you absolutely need to use your phone, turn the brightness down. If you’re going to have your computer in your face, think about getting a blue light filter app to lessen the effect.
Step Seven: Do Something To Wind You Down
A pre-bedtime routine is just as essential to a great night’s sleep as sticking to your schedule. In fact, work it into your schedule to ensure you actually give yourself time to wind down.
Do something you know helps you destress, to prepare for your best rest every night.
Read a book, listen to calming music, take a hot bath or shower, do some breathing exercises, meditate, etc. Anything you can think of that calms you down and gets you ready to sleep will work.
Everyone is different, so tailor your routine to you.
Sleeping better at night is more than a matter of laying your head down on the pillow at a good time. You have to be mindful of how you’re preparing your mind and body for the night ahead.
These seven steps to better sleep at night will help you do just that.
When night falls, choose to put your rest ahead of anything else so you can live your best life during the day!
Dominique Daniels is the Business Manager at The Marq. With over five years of property management experience, she begins and ends each day loving what she does. She finds joy in helping current and future residents and makes The Marq a place everyone loves to call home.