Sleeping is a very important part of your health and wellness. It affects your productivity, your happiness, your well-being, and even your life expectancy. That’s why when you don’t get enough sleep, you end up feeling terrible the next day.
That’s why it’s so important to get a good night of sleep. If you want to be productive and happy, you need to learn how to sleep better. Here are some tips that can help:
Set a Schedule
The first thing you should do is establish clear patterns for sleeping and waking. Go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends and days when you don’t have class or work. Pick a time that allows you to get 8 hours of sleep on weeknights (say, 11 pm). This may be earlier than you’d like, but it’s important for developing healthy, consistent habits. Set an alarm for the same time every morning (7 am), so that you get up at the same time each day even if you’re not going anywhere.This will help regulate your body’s internal clock.
Create the Ideal Environment
Set the thermostat to between 60°F and 67°F (15.5°C to 19.4°C), which studies show is best for sleep. Keep your bedroom dark; use room-darkening shades, an eye mask, or a sleep mask if needed. A room that’s too hot or too cold can lead to restless sleep.
Avoid Bright Lights Before Bedtime
Turn off electronic devices such as tablets, laptops, and cell phones at least 30 minutes before bedtime or better yet, an hour before bedtime. Their bright screens are stimulating and can cause problems falling asleep. The blue light that’s emitted from these devices can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps with sleep regulation.
Don’t Watch the Clock
If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep within 15 minutes or so, get out of bed and do something relaxing in dim light — like reading or listening to music – until you feel ready to go back to bed. Avoid checking the clock and spending time on your phone.
Get Physically Tired
Before you go to bed, get physically tired. You need to have your blood pressure and pulse down, so walking or doing some sort of strenuous activity will do it. Go for a walk, take a shower or bath, lie on the couch for ten minutes reading in a comfortable position. It doesn’t matter whether you are tired from exercise or not; getting tired is the same thing as being tired.
Try to Relax Before Bedtime
Sleep experts say that it is ideal to find a relaxing activity to help you fall asleep. This could be reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing meditation. If you have experienced sleep issues in the past and are currently taking any medications, ask your doctor if they could be the cause of your sleeplessness. Certain drugs may cause drowsiness in some people but keep others awake at night.
Don’t Think About Work or Problems
Many of us try to solve problems right before we go to sleep or find ourselves thinking about work and all that we have to do the following day. Instead, try to avoid thinking about these things and focus on something more relaxing. If you find yourself still worrying about things, write them down and promise yourself that you will address them when you wake up in the morning.
Sleep on a Comfortable Mattress
The bed is an important part of the sleep environment. A mattress should be moderately soft so that you don’t feel like you’re sleeping on rocks; but it shouldn’t be so soft that your spine isn’t supported. Pillows are also necessary for supporting your head and neck. If you are searching for a new mattress, try out the Mattress Quiz by Sleep Foundation to find your perfect match.
Don’t forget to check out our piece on digital detox and why it’s necessary.