By Victoria Q
Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your mental and physical health. This will directly affect your daytime energy, productivity, emotional balance, and even your weight. Even so, many of us regularly tossing and turning at night, struggling to fall asleep or to get back to sleep after awake in the middle of the night.
You can have much more control over the quality of your sleep than you’ve ever thought of. Unhealthy daytime habits and lifestyle choices are often the culprits of sleeping difficulties. By experimenting with the following tips below, you may enjoy better sleep at night.
- Avoid Caffeine And Alcohol
As any coffee lover knows, caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. Consuming caffeine at night may lead to sleeplessness, anxiety, frequent nighttime awakenings, and overall poorer sleep quality. Try to avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. On the other hand, alcohol may help bring in sleep, but after a few hours, it acts as a stimulant which increased the number of awakening throughout the night. Hence, it will decrease the quality of sleep.
2. Stick To The Same Sleeping Routine
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day including weekends. If you want to sleep late or sleep in during weekends, try to limit the difference to no more than 1 hour. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If you’re not asleep after 20 mins, get out of bed, leave your room and do something relaxing like reading, listening to music or meditation until you’re tired enough to sleep.
3. Turn Your Bedroom Into A Restful Environment
To get better sleep, you need to create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. A quiet, dark and cool environment give a cue to the brain that it’s time to sleep. Avoid prolonged use of light exposure just before bedtime. Also, limit using bright light and use yellow light to create a cozy environment. Lighting up a scented candle and do calming activities might promote better sleep too.
4. Limit Daytime Naps
Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your body internal clock which may cause you to struggle to sleep at night. If you want to take a nap, limit yourself to up to 30 mins and avoid napping late in the day. You may overcome an afternoon energy slump with a short walk or exercise, some healthy snacks or a good cup of tea.
5. Watch What You Eat At Night
Try to finish your dinner several hours before bedtime and avoid food that can cause indigestion. It is recommended to eat 3-4 hours before bed and try to avoid heavy and large meals to prevent uncomfortable at bedtime. If you get hungry at night, snack on something light like an apple or a cup of milk. It’s important not to go to bed hungry or stuffed.
6. Exercise Early
Exercise helps promote restful sleep but performing it too late may cause sleep problem. This is due to the stimulatory effect of exercise, which increases alertness of the brain. Hence, try to finish exercising at least 3 hours before bedtime or work out earlier in the day to avoid difficulty sleeping at night.
7. Avoid Checking The Time
Staring at a clock or keep checking the time, either when you are trying to fall asleep or when you wake in the middle of the night can actually increase stress and making it harder to fall asleep. Remove all the clock in your bedroom and keep your phone far away if you need to. If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep in about 20 mins, get up and do some relaxing activities such as reading, listening to music or meditation.