It’s challenging to enjoy your day if you’re not sleeping well at night. A lack of sleep is damaging to both your physical and mental health. You’re a less-capable person when your sleep is off.
While insomnia can be challenging to solve in a few instances, there are often things you can do on your own to enhance the quality of your sleep.
Get a good night’s sleep and be happier and more productive during the day by using these techniques:
1. Avoid daytime naps. If you are having trouble getting a good night’s sleep, perhaps your naps are part of the problem. Naps are great if you don’t have time for a full night’s sleep, but can keep you up at night if overdone.
2. Ensure your room is dark. Way, way back in the day, there were no lights aside from the sun, stars, and moon. Now, there are all kinds of light pollution from other homes and street lights. A city can light up the entire sky. Make the room as lightless as you can.
3. Keep a regular schedule. That means getting up at a particular time, even on the weekends. If you get up at 6 AM each day but sleep in until 10 AM on the weekends, you’re likely to have sleep quality issues. If you need a little more rest on the weekends, try going to bed 30 minutes earlier.
4. Have a comfortable mattress and pillow. You likely spend more time each week sleeping than you do in any other activity. Now isn’t the time to skimp. Ensure that you have a quality mattress and pillow so you can relax comfortably.
5. Have an evening ritual. Teach your body that it’s time to sleep. You might end your evening by having a small glass of water and watching the news with the lights turned down. Or you might meditate for a few minutes. Just be consistent and avoid anything that stimulates you.
6. Keep your evening meal light. Or, limit your eating to earlier in the evening. A large meal before bedtime is sure to interfere with your quality of sleep.
7. Avoid lit screens at night. Studies have shown that using backlit e-book readers and cell phones can cause sleep disturbances. Consider using an old-fashioned paper book if you want to read.
8. Limit the amount of light in your environment the last hour or two before bed. Limiting light will encourage your body to relax and wind down.
9. Get some exercise during the day. While training at night can impede sleep, daytime exercise can increase the quality of your sleep. Avoid overtraining, which significantly interferes with sleep.
10. Keep your mind still while lying in bed. The easiest way to keep yourself awake is to think negative, stressful thoughts. You’re in bed, so there’s nothing you can do at the moment to solve any of the challenges in your life. Think happy thoughts, focus on your breathing, or count to yourself.
11. Keep evening drinking to a minimum. That includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Consuming alcohol can interfere with your sleep. Any liquids can create the need to get up in the middle of the night. Consider having a drink of water two hours before bed, or keep the quantity to a minimum.
If you’ve ever had to stay up all night, you know just how important sleep can be. It can be worth the effort to ensure your sleep each night is tip-top. Avoid the belief that you’re just not a good sleeper and that 5 hours of sleep is all that you require. Take steps to enjoy the best possible night of sleep. You’ll enjoy the difference.