10 Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep
It’s the end of August, temperatures are falling and evenings are getting darker. As we all know, with darkness comes tiredness, and some evenings we get to bed as early as 8:30 pm. But, maybe it’s a good thing?
A while ago, we read an article about the book Why We Sleep by the neuroscientist Matthew Walker. Walker says getting enough sleep will boost your career, intelligence, your looks, and both mental and physical health. Unfortunately, it seems like a lack of sleep is one of the biggest public health challenges we face in the 21st century.
Getting a good night’s sleep can seem like an impossible goal, and falling short can take a toll on both productivity and emotional balance. However, a few simple changes to your daytime routine can make a huge difference. Magnesium deficiency, for example, has been associated with higher levels of stress and difficulty relaxing. So, making sure you get enough magnesium is definitely a good start. But, what else can you do?
Get on a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed at the same time every night – even on weekends and other days off – and waking up at the same time each day helps to establish an internal sleep clock. Sleeping until noon might seem tempting, but it will only cause more sleep problems, we promise. Set a bedtime alarm!
Exercise regularly, but not before bed. Including physical activity in your daily routine is great, but make sure to finish exercising at least two or three hours before getting into bed.
Avoid coffee and cigarettes. Cut out food and drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee and black tea, by mid-afternoon. And of course, nicotine, which is also a stimulant that can affect the quality of your sleep. Smoking before bed is a terrible idea for several reasons.
Say no to a nightcap. Drinking alcohol before bed disrupts the sleep pattern and blocks REM sleep. You’re also likely to wake up easily and have a hard time getting back to sleep. Instead of drinking a glass of wine in the evening, have a warm cup of chamomile tea.
Don’t eat late in the evening. Make dinner the lightest meal of the day, or try intermittent fasting. Finishing your last meal a few hours before bedtime will help you sleep better, and is good for both brain and overall health. It will also help fight inflammation in the body. There are many great benefits of intermittent fasting, and extending your overnight fast like this is probably the easiest way to start.
Change or reduce the dosage of your medication. Certain medications can interfere with sleep. Your doctor may be able to suggest alternatives.
Avoid daytime naps, especially in the afternoon. Ah, we knew it! Taking naps during the day may seem tempting and sometimes necessary to get through the day, but they will also disrupt the sleep cycle.
Wind down before going to bed. Develop a relaxing bedtime ritual: read a book or listen to soothing music. Find what works for you! Also, try to avoid using your computer or smartphone.
Soak in a warm bath. Yes, please! Mmm, don’t you feel sleepy just thinking about it?
Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, and put away your gadgets. Make sure that the temperature is on the cooler side. Also, make your room as dark as possible for sleep. Try not to use your computer, your cell phone or watch TV, since the blue light may make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
Get your morning light! Increasing bright light exposure during the day may actually help you sleep better at night. Get at least 30 minutes of sun exposure every day!
Don’t lie awake in bed at night. If you can’t sleep, get up and go do something. Don’t get back until you feel genuinely ready to sleep.