Sleep may very well be the most important part of our day. It prepares our bodies to conquer our endless to-do lists, and a million other things. The only problem is that it can be difficult to carve out time for sleep. That’s why it’s necessary to sleep “smarter” and more efficiently! These five tips should help you discover a few ways to get the best night’s sleep possible.
I think exercise may be the one of the greatest ways I can ensure sleeping through the night. Even 30 minutes of exercise a day can help keep me energized at work, and sleep better at night. The key is exercising at the right time of day. Dr. Virgil D. Wooten of HowStuffWorks.com notes:
“When it comes to having a direct effect on getting a good night’s sleep, it’s vigorous exercise in the late afternoon or early evening that appears most beneficial. That’s because it raises your body temperature above normal a few hours before bed, allowing it to start falling just as you’re getting ready for bed. This decrease in body temperature appears to be a trigger that helps ease you into sleep.”
Exercising can certainly help you sleep better, as long as it’s not immediately before you go to bed!
2. Ritual and Atmosphere
Give your body a schedule so it can expect when to fall asleep every evening. Aim for the same bedtime every night. If that’s not possible, tell your body you are ready for sleep by shutting off your devices (no screen time!) at least 30 minutes before bed, doing some light stretches, reading, or another calming activity. Make absolutely sure that you have a dark, comfortable atmosphere to sleep in. Cover your laptop light. Wear an eye mask. Play some soothing music. (There are numerous apps just for this purpose such as Quick Sleep, where you can choose music, white noise, or the sound of beaches, rain, etc.)
3. Jot Down Your Thoughts
One important part of my nighttime ritual is jotting down all the thoughts floating around in my head. Keep a notebook on your nightstand and write a quick list of everything you’re thinking that moment right before bed. (Okay, sometimes you can’t write everything you’re thinking, but try!) By putting your thoughts to paper, you are releasing them from your mind for the evening. Make a to-do list for the morning, write why that person is making you angry, or what your weekend plans are. Writing down anything in order to ease and free your mind will help ensure a carefree night’s sleep.
4. Chamomile Tea (and no caffeine)
If you can avoid caffeine 24/7, more power to you! I have made it a habit to stop drinking coffee after 2:00pm. When I get a craving in the late afternoon or evening, I turn to tea instead. I’m a new tea drinker, and by no means an expert, but chamomile tea has been my life saver. It is widely known as a sleep aid, and promotes a restful night of sleep. Add it’s another addition your nighttime routine!
5. Prepare for the Day Ahead
Ever had those dreams where you’re late to class? Just missed the bus, subway, or train? Walk in late to a meeting? I have discovered that I have these dreams less and less on nights when I prepare for my day the night before (what a surprise)! Pack your lunch, decide what you’ll wear, make sure everything is in your handbag, gas is in your car, etc. You can guarantee yourself a better night’s sleep, without the tossing and turning, by just taking five minutes to prepare.
What tips do you have for getting a better night’s sleep? Tell us in the comments!
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