A bad night’s sleep can ruin your whole day. Tired and irritable is no way to go through life, and can have huge repercussions in both your personal and professional endeavors. Rather than rely on copious amounts of coffee to keep you afloat, you should make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep each and every night. Here are the steps necessary in order to accomplish that goal.
Stick to a schedule
Though it may make you feel like a child again, having a bedtime is key to healthy living. That is why it is good to have a sleep schedule, and preferably one that allows you to get a good eight hours of sleep. Some smartphones have applications expressly designed to alert you when it is time to go to bed, in case you become too engrossed in some other activity. However, the Mayo Clinic recommends that if you don’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, you should get up and do something relaxing. Stressing over falling asleep can make it even tougher to catch some Zs.
Have a ritual
Having a nice, relaxing bedtime ritual can help your body get used to going to bed at a specific time. However, that ritual should not involve surfing the web on your laptop or phone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you should avoid bright lights during the evening, as they can interrupt your circadian rhythms. Similarly, you should expose yourself to bright lights when you get up. Something like reading a book by lamplight would be better for your schedule.
You are what you eat (and drink, and smoke)
Going to bed hungry is unpleasant, but being stuffed is not ideal, either. Large meals can cause discomfort from indigestion, so it is best to avoid feasting two to three hours before you hit the hay (if you are still hungry, the Sleep Foundation recommends a light snack 45 minutes before bedtime). Caffeine and nicotine also have energizing impacts that may not wear off for hours. And although booze may make you sleepy initially, WebMD reports that studies have shows it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. So the idea of a “nightcap” may sound nice, but there is nothing to be gained when it comes to your sleep.
One reason you may not be tired at night is because you haven’t done anything during the day that is particularly tiring. Many of us have jobs and habits that lead to sedentary lifestyles. That is why it is important to carve out some time everyday for exercise. You don’t necessarily need a gym membership, but going for a walk or run everyday will go a long way towards improving your health and helping you sleep. However, the Mayo Clinic does caution against doing these activities too late in the day, as that can get you energized at a time when you need to be winding down.
These are some of the most crucial steps necessary for better sleep. If followed, many of these guidelines will improve not only your sleep schedule, but your quality of life, as well.
This article is presented by Bredemann Toyota in Park Ridge, Illinois.