Do you struggle to get a good night’s sleep? If so, you’re not alone. Better sleep can lead to increased productivity, enhanced mood, and overall well-being. Additionally, sleep deprivation is a common issue that can wreak havoc on your quality of life and unhinge your personal relationships. Fortunately, there are some simple practices to help you sleep more comfortably at night. In this guide you’ll learn how to develop healthy bedtime habits that are easy to implement, promote better rest each night, and will ensure you’re well rested before embarking on your day ahead.
1. No naps after 3 p.m.
The circadian rhythm is our bodies’ schedule to keep us on a 24-hour cycle. It affects our internal clock, which controls when we fall asleep and wake up. When your body thinks it’s daytime, falling asleep at night will be much easier because your circadian rhythm will feel like it’s time to go to bed. If you take a nap during the day, however, your body might think that it’s still daytime and won’t allow itself to fall asleep easily at night—making it harder for you to get enough good quality rest during those hours (and making morning harder as well). To get the most out of your sleep, you should avoid napping after 3 p.m.
2. Lower your room temperature
Lowering the temperature in your bedroom can help you sleep better. The ideal temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, so try to keep it as cool as possible. Try opening a window or turning on a fan for additional cooling power if you’re in a cold climate. If you live in an area where summer nights are hot and humid, try raising the temperature of your room instead.
3. Try some Meditate
Meditation is another excellent way to relax and reduce stress, which can help you fall asleep faster. Meditation can also help you sleep more deeply, meaning that when you wake up in the morning, you’ll feel refreshed and energized instead of exhausted (or “sleep drunken”).
4. Don’t drink alcohol
Alcohol is not the best choice for your sleep. While it may make you feel tired and help you fall asleep, you will wake up feeling more tired. Studies show that alcohol can cause restless sleep and disrupt your normal sleep cycle. Your body also processes alcohol during the night, which interferes with your ability to get quality sleep. If you are struggling to get a good night’s rest due to stress or anxiety, avoid alcohol as much as possible.
5. Refrain from staring at screens
The first thing to note about this is that it doesn’t apply to TV screens but also to computers, smartphones, and tablets. It’s been proven that these kinds of screens can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which may lead to insomnia or trouble falling asleep in the first place. Your brain will likely tell you things like “I’m still awake” or “I can’t stop thinking about everything I need to do tomorrow.”
The next thing you know, it’s 4 a.m., and you’re wondering why you thought watching three episodes of Criminal Minds would help put you in an exhausted state of mind.
However, which isn’t an excuse not to have screen time; instead, it’s an opportunity for self-reflection on when and how we use our devices. There are lots of ways we could modify our habits: limiting nighttime use (if possible), using apps with blue light filters meant specifically for bedtime viewing (like F.lux), and even setting timers so we aren’t tempted by our phone while lying down (or so we don’t forget selecting one).
6. Take a hot shower
The hot shower will relax your muscles, improve your breathing and help you sleep. The steam will clear out any allergens in the air, which can irritate the lungs and make breathing harder. The heat of the water will also help you sweat out toxins from your body, which puts less pressure on your heart, which helps reduce stress levels and improve sleep quality.