How To Prepare Yourself For a Good Night's Sleep
Do you ever look forward to a good night’s rest, but then when it’s time to finally lay your head on the pillow at the end of the day, you can’t fall asleep? Maybe it’s a to-do list, anxiety, restlessness, or just general insomnia keeping you up, but it is important to take pre-emptive steps during the day to try to produce a restful slumber.
Sleep deprivation can affect so many aspects of life including your memory, mood, blood pressure, weight, and concentration. Sleeping properly gives your body time to recover and recharge after exercising. Without sleep, you run an increased risk of injury.
While a perfect night’s sleep can never be guaranteed, following these tips and tricks throughout your day have proven to result in healthier sleeping habits.
- Watch what you eat (or drink): While that late-night snack may seem like a good idea, eating too close to bedtime can keep your body up at night. Instead, opt for an earlier dinner schedule that gives your body ample time to digest the food. Similarly, avoid late-night coffee and cocktails. Caffeine energizes your body and will keep you up later, and alcohol – while it might put you to sleep – can result in poor sleep quality. By monitoring your consumption habits, you can set yourself up for a restful night of sleep.
- Timing is everything: Research has found that moderate-intensity exercise can reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. However, be aware of what time you exercise because high-intensity workouts at night can speed up your metabolism, release endorphins and keep you up. Instead, aim to finish high-intensity workouts in the morning or afternoon and choose lighter workouts in the evening such as yoga, stretching and walking. This lighter movement will help you to relax and unwind before heading to bed.
- Be mindful of bed manners: We all love our beds. They are warm, cozy and a great place to relax. However, if you continually use your bed for activities like working, eating and watching movies, your brain will not correlate your bed with rest and sleep. By limiting your bed use to just sleep, your body will begin to associate the two, resulting in a better slumber.
- Put the phone away: Aimlessly scrolling on your phone for hours can be entertaining, but it is well-known that screen-time before bedtime is associated with poor sleep quality, decreased sleep efficiency, and a harder time falling asleep initially. By putting your phone away 30 minutes to an hour before bed, you give your eyes a chance to relax – resulting in better sleep.
- Find a Way to Unwind: Everyday stress can often affect our sleep patterns, but by finding healthy ways to cope, you can change how stress impacts your sleep. Before bed do an activity, like reading, journaling or meditation that requires you to be present. These activities will help your brain to focus on what is going on in the moment instead of the overarching problems that you may have to face in the days to come. Activities that re-center you will help to promote relaxation and ultimately a deep, deep sleep.
No one wants to live in a constant state of tiredness and fatigue. By implementing these small changes into your routine, you will hopefully see improvements in sleep patterns, energy and wellbeing.