Getting a great night’s sleep is super important for your overall health and happiness. When we don’t get enough sleep, we feel tired throughout the day — not to mention the fact that our productivity, emotions, and physical health are also affected. Given all that, it seems like the best way to guarantee yourself a great day is to have a great night’s sleep.
If you’re someone who finds themselves wide awake at random times throughout the night, you might feel like you’re destined to be a terrible sleeper forever. Luckily, you have a lot more control over the quality of your sleep than you might think.
Try out a few of these tips, and we’re sure you’ll be sleeping soundly in no time.
Sleep at the Same Time Every Day
It doesn’t matter if you work days or nights — you should be going to bed and getting up at the same time every single day. Sticking to a proper sleep routine is one of the best ways to improve your sleep (even for those of us who hate routines and refuse to believe the hype).
By doing this, you help set your body’s internal clock, which lets your body know when it’s time for bed. Before long, you’ll find yourself getting tired when you’re supposed to. It also helps you wake up at the same time every day. A lot of people don’t even need an alarm clock once they’ve developed and stuck to a sleep routine for long enough. If, after a while, you find that you’re still having a difficult time waking up naturally, it’s probably just your body telling you that you need more sleep and should be going to bed earlier.
Sticking to a sleep routine isn’t just for Monday to Friday, either. It also includes weekends, so try to avoid sleeping in on Saturdays and Sundays if you really want this to work.
Control the Light
As human beings, we’re naturally diurnal, which means we’re most active during the day. This affects the way our bodies react to light. When the sun is out and shining, our bodies are more energized. When it’s pitch black, we get better sleep.
To get a great night’s sleep, you’ll want to try increasing the amount of bright light you’re exposed to during the day. In the evenings, keep the lights dim to help your body realize that it’s time to relax. On top of that, you should also avoid bright screens one to two hours before bedtime.
When it’s actually time to go to sleep, you should turn off all the lights and sleep in total darkness. If you work nights and sleep during the day, invest in some heavy blackout curtains.
Get Enough Exercise
It’s a lot more difficult to tire yourself out by bedtime if you’re sedentary throughout the day. People who get enough exercise usually sleep better at night and have more energy throughout the day.
You don’t have to start doing intense workouts to reap the sleep benefits of exercise. Start out by walking more and incorporating more movements into your regular activities. The more vigorously you workout, the better you’ll sleep. Just be sure to finish your workout at least three hours before your bedtime, unless it’s something low-impact like yoga.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
What we eat and drink affects us a lot, so it’s no wonder that it also affects our sleep. The obvious thing you should watch is how much caffeine you consume throughout the day. Caffeine can affect your sleep up to twelve hours after you’ve consumed it, so you might want to rethink that nightcap or switch to herbal tea altogether. Sugary foods and refined carbs can also leave you feeling restless when you should be sleeping.
Eating a large meal, or something that’s spicy or acidic, too close to bedtime can cause stomach pain and heartburn — things that are bound to play a role in how well you sleep throughout the night. Try to avoid heavy meals and rich foods for at least two hours before bedtime.
Finally, drinking too much liquid before bed will have you waking up frequently to go to the bathroom. Try to cut back at least an hour before bed.
Your Bedroom Environment
Your bedroom should be a place of serene comfort, and it goes without saying that the environment you create in the room where you sleep plays a huge role in how well you sleep in it. If you want to get a great night’s sleep, you’ll have to reconsider a few things.
Colors like red and orange may be your favorites, but they can also cause you to feel too energized, making them less than ideal for a bedroom. Instead, aim for cool colors like blues and greens.
The temperature of your room also factors into the quality of your sleep. For that reason, your bedroom should be kept around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re too hot, the quality of your sleep will decrease.
You should also try to block out any noise and light from outside, as well as any artificial lights inside like the light from your alarm clock. Your room should be dark, cool, clean, and quiet.
Invest in a Comfortable Mattress
Mattress quality is super important when it comes to getting a great night’s sleep. Not only that, but a good mattress also helps reduce back and shoulder pain. If you think your mattress is uncomfortable, you should seriously consider investing in one that’s more to your personal preference. It’ll improve the quality of your sleep and, as a result, the quality of your life. It’s definitely worth it.
While you’re at it, consider upgrading your pillows and bedding, too.
Create a Bedtime Routine
Before going to bed, create and follow a routine that leaves you feeling relaxed, comfortable, and clear-minded. Having a pre-sleep routine will improve your quality of sleep and let your body know when it’s time to go to bed.
You could take a warm bath or shower, listen to relaxing music, read a book, or even do some deep breathing and meditation. Test out different activities to see what works best for you.