There are many things that can cause you to have a bad night’s sleep – from work stress and relationship problems, the list just never ends. Not getting a full night’s sleep can wreak havoc on your health.
In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.
Sleep makes you feel better, but it’s importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or getting rid of the bags under your eyes. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your mind, heart, weight, and much more.
Our society does not put enough emphasis on getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep is considered a sign of hard work amongst some, but getting a good night’s sleep is critical to being successful and healthy. Studies have shown that the majority of people have trouble falling asleep.
Let’s take a look at some tips to help you fall asleep.
6 Tips To A Better Night’s Sleep
Stick to a sleep schedule
Try to go to sleep at roughly the same time every night, while waking up around the same time as well. Make sure you are getting AT LEAST seven hours of sleep per night, as that is the recommended amount of sleep for the healthy adult.
Try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour. By being consistent, you reinforce your body’s sleep-wake schedule. After a few weeks, you will notice your body will wake up at the same time every morning without an alarm clock.
If you don’t fall asleep with 20 minutes of laying down, get up and go do something relaxing, and then try again. It may take a little bit of work to get into a good sleep schedule, but it will make waking up and going to sleep much easier.
Create a bedtime routine
Good sleeping habits begin with a regular bedtime routine. A relaxing bedtime routine helps to prepare your brain and body for bed and promotes restful sleep. Your bedtime routine should be anywhere from 30-60 minutes long, with some sort of relaxing activity.
Bedtime routines vary greatly between different people. Many people prefer to wind down the day with either a bath or some light reading to promote relaxtion. Find what works for you and stick to it every night. Check out our article on author Tim Ferriss’ bedtime routine.
Create a restful environment
To have a great night of sleep, this means you need to have an environment that promotes great sleep. Keep your bedroom as a place of rest. In our digital world, it is common to turn your bedroom into a work space cluttered with electronics. Have all electronics turned off and the lights dimmed within an hour of bedtime.
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.
Your bedroom should be cool, dark, and quiet. The ideal temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees. Tim Ferriss and multiple other successful people recommend using the Chilly Pad for a good night’s sleep.
Moniter what you eat and drink
What you eat and drink leading up to bedtime has quite the effect on how it effects your ability to get to sleep. Do not go to bed hungry or stuffed. Avoid heavy meals within two hours of bedtime, as this can cause discomfort that can keep you up.
Be sure to avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol before bed. The effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off, and can wreak havoc on your sleep. While alcohol can help you feel tired, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.
Engage in a relaxing activity before bed
Many people have difficulty falling asleep due to not being able to turn their brain off. Engaging in a relaxing activity before bed can take your mind off of the stresses of life, and put you into a state that is required for a great night of sleep.
There are numerous activities people do to unwind before bed, and it will be different for each person. Find something that relaxes you and puts you in a calm state, and do it every night before bed.
A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.
There is a substantial amount of research showing how exercise helps us sleep better. Try and shoot for three 30-minute workouts per week. Plus, it’s a great feeling laying in bed exhausted, knowing you crushed a workout that day.