- Consistency is important
Consistency is important, just like exercise and diet. If you are over 18 years, then you should be having between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night, and try going to the bed at the same time every day. When you have a consistent sleep schedule, it will accustom your internal clock to the same time, making it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up, and you will have a better sleep.
The bed should be for only sleeping – this means having your phone and TV away when you are in bed. If you are not asleep within 15 minutes, then get up and read or relax in another room until you start feeling tired. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time even if it is during the weekend. Have a reminder that is going to let you know it is bedtime and an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning.
Some day-to-day events and schedules can sometimes interfere with plans, but you should not be frustrated and give up just because you were not able to stick to your bedtime. You need to keep in mind that the process is going to take some time, and the more you can stick to the routine, the better the quality of sleep you are going to have.
- Establishing a Bedtime Routine
Once you have the sleep schedule in place, you need to establish a routine to follow during the nighttime. It is a good idea to wind down before going to bed because it lets the body know that it is bedtime. The first place to start is reducing the amount of time you spend looking at the screen. Whether it is checking email on your phone or catching up with your favorite, staying away from a screen is important because it can interfere with your sleep because the TV, phones, computers, and tablets cast blue light.
You should put away electronics at least two hours before bedtime. Instead of checking your phone or watching TV, consider meditating, reading, taking a warm bath, stretching, or listen to calming music. Once you follow the routine for a couple of weeks, you will find it easier to relax, giving the mind the chance of shutting down, and blocking any stressors or anxiety, and this will help you fall asleep faster.
- Finding the Ideal Sleeping Conditions
Different people have different ideal sleeping conditions. Some people prefer white noise coming from a fan while some like total silence. If you find it hard to sleep with brightness in the room, then consider investing in blackout drapes. If you find yourself getting up in the middle of the night, then lower the thermostat temperature. The optimal room temperature according to studies is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is going to suggest to the brain that it is time to switch off.
You bed should be comfortable and supportive in order to allow you to get a great nights sleep and wake up refreshed. Read these reviews of the best mattress for side sleepers.
- Sip Smart
The drinks you consume during the day is going to affect your sleep pattern. Some people think alcohol is good because is a depressant which leaves them feeling sleepy, but what they don’t realize is that it is going to interrupt their sleep cycle throughout their sleep. Caffeine is no good because it revs you up. People metabolize caffeine differently, but many studies have shown it is a good idea to avoid caffeinated beverages six hours before going to sleep. Instead of such beverages, go for decaffeinated green tea or chamomile tea because it will help in relaxing your body, which will eventually improve your sleep.
- Watching What You Eat
What you eat will also affect your sleep. Consuming less saturated fats, more fiber, and less sugar during the day has been linked to a night of more restorative and less restless sleep. When you limit simple carbs and refined sugars, it will keep the blood sugar level steady and your energy will be consistent throughout the day. You will not have a strong urge to reach out for a cup of coffee in the afternoon or evening.
You should also stay away from heavy, spicy, fatty foods in the evening because the body will have a hard time digesting them, and ingestion before going to bed is going to make it harder for you to relax and sleep. You should try having the heaviest meal for breakfast and make it lighter later in the day.
There is a connection between diet, sleep, and weight loss. There is a study that was done and it showed that inadequate sleep leads to caloric consumption because of increased snacking, bad eating habits, and obesity. When you have better sleep, you end up snacking less, but smart snacking will help you in sleeping better.