6 things you need to start doing in order to get better sleep at night

6 things you need to start doing in order to get better sleep at night

Sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body. Alongside drinking plenty of water and eating a proper diet – it might just be one of the most important things you need to stay healthy. But after a long day at work, with the family, and even at the gym – it can be hard to turn off your brain and catch the zzz’s you need.

Consider simple tips for better sleep, from setting a sleep schedule to including physical activity in your daily routine.

1. Create a restful environment

Create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Exposure to light might make it more challenging to fall asleep. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.

Doing calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, might promote better sleep.

2. Stick to a sleep schedule

Set aside no more than eight hours for sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours. Most people don’t need more than eight hours in bed to achieve this goal.

Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

If you don’t fall asleep within about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and do something relaxing. Read or listen to soothing music. Go back to bed when you’re tired. Repeat as needed.

3. Practice a bedtime routine

Create a ritual that indicates to your body that it’s time to wind down. This can be anything relaxing – from taking a bath or shower, to reading a book, or listening to soothing music.

Fairy tales and bedtime stories aren’t just for kids. Listening to one of your favorite stories, or relaxing music can distract your brain from the stresses of the day, and help wind you down into a good sleep.
Expert tip: One good way to do this is to download one of your favorite books, or one you know well, as an audiobook and listen to that before bed.

Expert tip: You should avoid TV, electronic devices, and dim the lights down low. Some research suggests that this excess screen time before bed could inhibit good sleep.

4. Exercise at appropriate times

Working out is an essential part of getting, and staying healthy. Infact, working out improves the length, and quality of your sleep. But working out also elevates your body temperature, and that inhibits your body’s ability to shut down, and get some shut eye.

Expert tip: Don’t workout 4 hours before bedtime. Try working out in the morning, or in the afternoon so you can avoid keeping your body up later than it needs to be.

5. Pay attention to what you eat and drink

Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Your discomfort might keep you up.

Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.

6. Manage worries

Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

Stress management might help. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Meditation also can ease anxiety.

Know when to contact your doctor

Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the better sleep you deserve.

remedydaily.com, mayoclinic.org

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