Does falling asleep feel like something of an unreachable dream when you’re lying wide awake at an unreasonable hour? By adhering to some simple healthy sleep habits, you’ll realise the differentiation between a restless night and a sound night’s sleep.
It’s not always you, but the things in your life that are making getting a decent night’s sleep an issue, but don’t be too distraught because here are some beneficial habits to get into that will do your sleep the world of good and help you live a wholesome life too!
Creating the Right Environment
So, you want to get a good night’s sleep? Well, for some premium sleep-inducing action, make sure that your room is cool, quiet and dark in its environment as this is a sure-fire way to promote some sweet, sweet slumber.
Consider having either some blackout shades, heavy curtains, or a simple eye mask to aid blocking the light out. The reason these additions are beneficial is that they all act as tell-tale indicators for the brain to wind down.
Add a room that has a temperature between 15°C and 24°C; and don’t forget to have your room nicely ventilated, as well as furnished with a mattress and pillows you find comfortable, and you’re on the right track.
For more advice on mattresses, you can head over to The Sleep Advisor for some insightful resources and general information that you’re sure to find helpful.
Maximising the best bedroom environment should be restricted to sleep and sex in order to build an even more solid association for your brain that the bedroom is a place of sleep, not for working or playing video games, for example.
Think About What You’re Drinking
Caffeine, which is, of course, a stimulant and helps to keep you awake. Ideally, you should be cutting off caffeine from around midday, but a minimum of four hours before bedtime is the last call for caffeine.
You’ll find caffeine, not just in coffee, but also in things like:
- Some cold and flu tablets
Alcohol has every chance of making you feel sleepy, but when you go to bed on a few tipples, it stimulants the body, and this means that you will have a diminished quality of sleep later in the night.
It goes without saying that it is highly recommended to restrict your alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day and leave the booze behind no less than three hours before hitting the sack.
You may or may not know, but exercise actually brings on a restful night’s sleep – if carried out several hours before your bedtime.
Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly—as long as it’s done at the right time. Exercise stimulates the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which helps activate the alerting mechanism in the brain. This is fine unless you’re trying to fall asleep.
Try to finish exercising at least three hours before bed or work out earlier in the day.
Forget the Clock
If you find yourself clock-watching in your bedroom, either when you are steering towards bedtime slumber, or you’ve found yourself waking up mid-sleep, it can actually make more difficult to drift off.
The added stress that comes with staring at the time means you should simply point clock faces and other time-telling devices to face away from you.
Sure-Up Your Sleep Schedule
Anyone who has a regular sleep pattern will advocate the upsides. Most importantly, it means that, by having this sleep schedule dialed in, higher quality and more stable sleep is on its way. Once you are regularly going to bed and waking up at the same time you’re doing all the right things to sets the “internal clock” for your body.
It’s advisable to stay as close as possible to that structured routine when the weekend comes around too, or you’ll be experiencing an unwanted Monday morning of sluggishness, and the easier a Monday morning is, the better, right?
Waking up at the same time every day of the week is the very most effectual way of ‘programming’ your body clock. Had a less than impressive sleep the previous night? Fear not, because this will kick-start an internal extra sleep drive that will help to consolidate sleep the next evening.
Know When to Take a Nap
Speaking of body clocks, how about enjoying one of life’s best, free treats; naps! This is quite a common addition to many people’s daily routines. This could also be part of the reason that those who can’t nod off in the night struggle so much too though, so bear that in mind.
Optimum naps are taken before 5 pm, ideally 3 pm, according to a recent study, and should be for a short period of time.
Lighten Up on Evening Meals
You might think that you’ve earned a hearty meal for dinner but piling up the plate late at night is a culprit for sleep cessation. Make sure you’ve finished up your dinner at least three hours before you hit the hay.