Young "professional," Providence College grad, above average procrastinator, reality tv…
There is nothing more important than getting a good night’s sleep. If you’re like me, you may find it difficult to shut your brain off at night. I often struggle to fall asleep, tossing and turning for about an hour each night, and it’s miserable! There were certain things my parents always emphasized were important to do before bed, but naturally, I never listened. However, once I tried some of the things people suggested I noticed my sleep did improve, and I did not feel as groggy in the morning. So, without further ado, here are 15 tips for how to get a better night’s sleep.
1. Go to bed at the same time every night.
Your body has an internal clock, and when you establish a routine you get used to it and will start to naturally wake up before your alarm goes off. If you want to avoid hitting snooze over and over, try to add some consistency to your life.
2. Invest in comfortable bedding.
Although it may be more expensive, it is worth it to spend a little more money on comfortable bedding because you will fall asleep more quickly and wake up feeling recharged.
3. Avoid naps.
If you feel like it takes you hours to get to sleep at night, it might be because you are sleeping in the middle of the day, or right when you get home from work. If you take a nap at 5:30 pm because you are exhausted, when you wake up at 7 you won’t get able to get to sleep at 11. This can perpetuate a vicious circle. Try to limit naps to 30 minutes, and skip the nap after 3 pm.
4. Make sure to get exercise.
If you are relatively sedentary every day, it may behoove you to spend 30-40 minutes at the gym or going for a run outside. When your body is getting the exercise it needs you won’t feel restless when it’s time to turn out the lights.
5. Avoid tossing and turning.
If you find yourself tossing and turning for more than 20 minutes it might be time to get up and do something. This might seem ludicrous and counterproductive if it is late at night, but it isn’t doing you any good to lay there and think about how you can’t sleep. I always find myself putting pressure on myself and getting stressed out when I can’t sleep, calculating how little sleep I’m going to end up getting before I have to get up. When you get up and read, for example, then after a half hour you might find that you fall asleep easily.
6. Put away electronics.
This one is especially difficult, but try to swap your phone or computer for a book before bedtime. The light that comes from any lit screen activates your brain and makes it difficult to get ready for sleep mode.
7. Establish a bedtime ritual.
If you like to shower before bed then do that. Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea? do that! If you like to stack saltines with grape jelly and eating them while standing in the kitchen reading Vogue Carrie Bradshaw style then do that. Whatever it is, make it a point to end your day that way. Your body will start to get used to the routine and get sleepy.
8. Create a sleep-friendly environment.
Want to know how to get a better night’s sleep? Create a sleep-friendly environment! Environmental factors can affect your sleep. Your room should be dark, quiet, and around 68 degrees Fahrenheit for the best sleep.
9. Avoid alcohol.
Obviously this can’t always be achieved, however, alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle and prevents you from reaching REM sleep. While you may sleep for a while, it is more of a shallow sleep and you will wake up feeling more groggy than usual.
10. Avoid caffeine after 2 pm.
Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 8 hours, so if you drink a lot of coffee, tea, or soda you may be sabotaging yourself. True to limit your caffeine intake and only drink it in the morning.
11. Limit anxious thinking.
If you are anxious, stressed, or nervous about something try keeping a journal and writing it down. Sometimes if things are weighing on your mind it is helpful to have an outlet where you can vent.
12. Get enough Vitamin D.
Your body has its own internal clock, so in order to keep your circadian rhythm in check, it is important to get at least 30 minutes of sunlight a day. I’m not sure who wouldn’t get that much unless they’re Patrick Starr and live under a rock but it is important to get your Vitamin D.
13. Take melatonin.
One of our tips on how to get a better night’s sleep is to take melatonin. That is if you are really in need of assistance. Melatonin is safe and non-addictive. It improves sleep quality as well as assists you in falling asleep quicker.
14. Don’t eat or drink a lot before bedtime.
Eating a lot of food right before trying to go to sleep can negatively affect your sleep by messing with your natural melatonin. Also, drinking lots of fluids before bed can interfere with your sleeping and force you to wake up for multiple bathroom breaks.
15. Try meditation.
The health effects of meditation are evident, and if you are having trouble getting to sleep at night it may help to give it a try. It’s one of the great ways on how to get a better night’s sleep! You can read about it online, watch videos, and even download apps that will assist you in getting the ball rolling.
Do you agree with our tips on how to get a better night’s sleep? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Young "professional," Providence College grad, above average procrastinator, reality tv enthusiast, high profile contributing member of society.