Restful sleep is the foundation upon you build your life. When your quality of sleep is lacking, it effects a large portion of your day and the activities you complete. Chances are, you will be tired and less likely to be productive. Your performance at work may suffer.
Most people don’t get enough sleep. Luckily, there are a number of ways to improve your quality of sleep. Here are some great tips to try.
- Avoid Caffeine Before Bed: We all know that caffeine is a stimulant designed to keep you awake. This is why you should avoid consuming before bed. Remember, caffeine can be found in things other than coffee such as tea, chocolate, soda and some pain relievers.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercising in the afternoon can improve your sleep that evening. It helps you fall asleep faster, rather than laying wide awake. Exercising directly before bed has the opposite effect so avoid doing that.
- Limit Nighttime Screen Time: Electronic devices can disrupt your sleep cycles. The lights on screens can be very bright, and they can confuse your brain. It can make your brain think its 2 p.m. instead of 2 a.m. So, try to avoid any screens 1 to 2 hours prior to bed.
- Pick a Comfortable Bed: Investing in a comfortable bed will provide years of quality sleep. You want your mattress to improve your sleep, not hinder it. This can be difficult if your spouse differs in opinion as to what is a comfortable bed. Adjustable beds allow each person to select the comfort level for them. Also, remember to regularly replace your pillows and a comfortable comforter. All of these things contribute.
- Sleep Colder: You may think it would be smart to sleep in a warmer environment. Most people like to snuggle down and get toasty under the sheets. However, studies show that the best house temperature for adults is between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature that is too warm can lead to trouble falling asleep.
- Have a Power down Routine: You need some kind of routine that lets your body know that sleep time is approaching. Getting into bed earlier and at the same time is one of the best ways to improve the quality of sleep. Consistency encourages your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Select items at night that are soothing. This could be taking a warm shower, reading a book, or meditating. Find things that work for you to relax your body.
- Limit Daytime Naps: Napping during the day can disrupt your nighttime sleep. If you do nap during the day, try to limit it to 10 to 30 minutes. Try not to nap after 5 p.m.
- Create a Sleepy Environment: Your room needs to help you sleep better. If the outside of your home has a lot of noise, think about investing in a white noise machine to drown it out. Blackout curtains will block the light coming in from the sun or street lights. The sun comes up fairly early in the summer; blackout curtains help keep you asleep longer. If your pet disrupts you, try to keep them out of the room. Limit activities in the bedroom, so your brain associates the bedroom with sleep.
- Eat Lighter: Heavy meals may make you drowsy, but they aren’t good before bed. Dinner should be several hours before bedtime, and opt for safe snacks before bed such as carbohydrates. Avoid food that make cause indigestion such as acidic or spicy foods.
If these tips don’t help, you may want to seek the help of a professional. Sleep problems, such as sleep apnea, need to be addressed by a doctor and can be treated. Improving your quality of sleep should be a priority; find what works for you.