No matter who you are, where you’re from or what you do, we could all use not only more sleep but more restful sleep. It’s amazing how our mood, energy level, and productivity are all improved after a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, getting a good night of sleep is sometimes easier said than done. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your chances of getting the rest you need to be at your best.
Stay on Schedule
One of the best things you can do to sleep well every night is getting yourself on a stringent sleep schedule. This means winding yourself down and going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning after sleeping between seven to eight hours. If you can stick to the same schedule, your body’s biological clock will start to adjust, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up on schedule. Of course, you’ll have to stick to the same timeframe on both weekdays and weekends.
Be Careful What You Eat and Drink
You want to eat something light within a couple hours of going to bed so you’re not hungry, but you also don’t want to go to bed feeling full after a big meal. You also want to eat the right foods. Foods like milk, cheese, ice cream, and almonds have been shown to help the body power down and fall asleep. You also want to avoid anything with caffeine. Drinking coffee within six hours of going to bed may be disruptive to sleep. Other items like chocolate, soda, and even some pain relievers and weight-loss drugs also contain caffeine which may interfere with sleep habits.
Get Some Exercise
Exercising on a regular basis can help you to sleep better because you’ll be a little more tired by the end of the day. However, make sure you have at least three or four hours between the time you exercise and your bedtime. After your workout, you’ll likely feel a little boost in energy, which you’ll want to wear off by the time you’re ready to go to sleep.
Turn Off Your Electronics
You’ll want to put away your laptop, tablet, and smartphone for at least an hour before going to bed. The light from these devices makes it harder for your body to shut down and prepare for sleep. In fact, dimming all the lights in your home a couple hours before your bedtime can help signal to your brain to produce the hormone that makes you sleep. Moreover, binging on Netflix or checking social media on your phone could get your emotions going in one way or another, making it harder to fall asleep quickly.
Say No to Naps
Everyone likes a good nap, but any nap longer than 30 minutes could make it more difficult to fall asleep at night. If you can’t limit yourself to a 30-minute nap, especially if you’re napping later in the day, it’s better to skip the nap entirely and work on going to bed at a time that allows you to sleep seven to eight hours.
If you’re looking for a natural way to sleep better at night, all of these methods are worth trying. However, if you try a few and they prove unsuccessful, consider speaking to a health professional. There may be a medical reason why you can’t get a good night’s sleep. In such cases, there are several medications, including medical cannabis, that may be considered.