8 Steps To Get Better Sleep Tonight
Sleep deprivation is proven to change almost everything in our bodies. Memory issues, mood changes, weakened immunity, slower metabolism, high blood pressure, weight gain and so much more are attributed to a lack of good sleeping habits.
What can we do to get better sleep?
Here are 8 tricks you can use to step up your sleep game.
1. Be consistent
Keep a consistent schedule of when you go to bed and when you wake up every day. Even during the weekends. Keeping a consistent schedule will help your body fall asleep faster. It will also assure you that you get the right amount of hours of sleep every night. Adults should reach for an average of 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Once this becomes a routine you will notice that waking up in the morning becomes easier.
If you wake up before the alarm, don’t snooze the extra 10 minutes in bed. Instead, you should get up and avoid risking falling into a new deep sleep. This would cause you to feel even more groggy.
2. Put down your screen
Turn off the electronic devices in your bedroom such as TVs, computers, and phones.
Our bodies follow a natural 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. In the morning our bodies produce the highest amount of cortisol which makes us feel ready and alert. In the evening our body releases the hormone melatonin which produces the feeling of sleepiness. The blue light from our electronics has been shown to slow down the natural production of melatonin in the evening and keep us awake.
Pro Tip – Invest in a traditional alarm clock and let your phone charge in another room. Stop using any electronic devices within 30-60 min of your bedtime.
3. Keep your bedroom cool
Research has shown that the best temperature to ensure a good night’s sleep is approximately 69 degrees Fahrenheit. That is science your spouse can’t debate 😉
4. Make sure it’s dark
Light is the most important external factor when it comes to our sleep schedule. Make sure your bedroom is dark- dark. A great way to do this is to install window treatments to block out the light from your windows. This will also help your room stay cool by regulating temperatures.
Room Darkening Shades or Blackout shades will block all-natural light coming into your room. These roller shades are usually mounted inside your window frame and have a blackout fabric wrapped around a tube that rolls down. The blackout shade can either be rolled down manually by pulling a cord or the fabric itself, or with the push of a button.
Side channels are another product that you can add to your roller shade to remove even the smallest light gaps around the shade and ensure that the sun won’t wake you up in the morning.
Other window treatment options are cellular shades and Roman shades.
5. Problem falling asleep? Get up!
If you experience problems falling asleep and you’ve tried for 20 min. Get up!
Go to another room and do a quiet activity without a lot of light exposure- no electronics. Read a book, listen to relaxing music, do a meditation, have a cup of tea (caffeine of course), or journal.
It’s also important that you don’t do other activities in your bed except for sleeping and quality time with yourself or a partner. This allows your mind to connect the bed with sleep. In other words, the bed is not a good option for a place to catch up on your work e-mails.
6. No large meals
Don’t eat large meals right before bedtime. Try to stick to a lighter, healthy snack closer to bedtime if you are prone to snacking. A good snack before bedtime is yogurt, banana, nuts and seeds, protein smoothie, or oatmeal. Try to avoid too much sweets or excessive amounts of carbohydrates.
7. Avoid alcohol & caffeine
Watch your alcohol consumption and don’t drink too much at bedtime. Cut back on caffeine as early as in the afternoon. Both of those substances have a huge effect on the quality of your sleep.
People who drink can oftentimes say that alcohol helps them fall asleep initially, but this is outweighed by the negative effect it has on the sleep quality throughout the night. Alcohol will force your body to spend less time in REM sleep leaving you more tired for the next time.
8. Exercise regularly
Moving your body daily is gonna have a positive effect on your sleep. Whether it’s a walk, spin class, pickleball, or the gym. 30 minutes of moderate exercising will have an instant effect on your sleep. Science has proven that people who exercise fall asleep more easily and spend more time in deep sleep. Leaving them more refreshed and ready for the next day.
But, make sure it is not within 2-3 hours of bedtime. Exercising too close to bedtime will increase your body temperature and release endorphins which can both keep you awake.