By Sarah Baker
Sleep has not been coming easy to me lately. I have never had it easy when it comes to sleep, too much thinking at night I guess, but as of late, it has seemed downright impossible to get any shut eye. I toss and turn and when I finally fall to sleep, my alarm goes off. Determined to get some sleep and to stop feeling like a zombie, I hit the internet for some help. Here is what I found...
9 Tips to Get a Good Night's Sleep:
1. Don’t take long naps.
Taking a long nap can cause you to not be able to fall asleep at night. Also, avoid that after-dinner crash. It can make it difficult later to fall asleep or cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back asleep. Instead, if you must nap, take a 30 minute nap in the early afternoon
2. Don’t forget to exercise.
Daily exercise is a great way to improve your sleep habits. It gets everything circulating and can also tire you out a bit. Just make sure that you aren’t doing it too close to bed time. It gets you pumped and endorphins running and can cause you to have difficulties falling asleep. Instead, exercise in the morning or early afternoon.
3. Don’t take your sleep environment lightly.
Look around where you sleep. How are the lights? The sound? The temperature? Set your room temperature to 60-67 degrees, try to black out curtains to get rid of the light, and turn on a sound machine or fan to block out unwanted sounds.
4. Don’t consume heavy meals, cigarettes, caffeine, liquids, and alcohol before bed.
Heavy meals can make you feel sick or give you heartburn which can keep you up. Cigarettes and alcohol can sometimes help you fall asleep, but they offer bad sleep quality. Caffeine causes you to be amped up and wired, making it harder to fall asleep. Liquids cause you to have to pee in the middle of the night. Instead, make sure that nothing is consumed 3-4 hours before bed time. This will allow you stomach to be calmed, your bladder to be emptied, and your habits to not affect your quality of sleep.
5. Don’t stress.
There is a lot on our minds most of the day, but we need to try to set it aside at night. Don’t think about what we need to do the next day or week. Instead, get organized, set some priorities, delegate tasks, jot down what’s on your mind, and set it aside for the next day. Anything that will help you to forget about it so that you can get some sleep.
6. Don’t pull an all-nighter.
As tempting as it is to stay up all night on the weekends and then make up for it the next day, it is awful for your sleeping habits. In order to get a good night sleep, you need to keep a consistent wake and sleep schedule, as hard as it might be.
7. Don’t check email/use devices in bed.
With the generation of iPad and smart phones, we use them and take them everywhere, which is fine, just leave them out of the bed. The light that illuminates from them can disrupt your sleep pattern. Instead, put them away, don’t even bring them to your room to avoid the temptation. Stop using them roughly an hour before bed; instead, do a calming activity, such as reading, to help wind down at night.
8. Don’t take a hot bath too close to bed time.
A hot bath can be very calming. However, taking one less than an hour before bed can cause your body temperature to get out of whack and make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
9. Don’t sleep with a pet.
Many people say that having their pet in bed with them makes them feel better, but it can dramatically effect your sleep. Since pets sleep most of the day while we are working, they don’t tend to sleep as solid at night as we do. They fidget and move around a lot, which even if we don’t feel it, disrupts our own sleep. Instead, give them their own bed on the floor next to yours that way they are with you but when they wake up, it doesn’t wake you up.
I found that I have some really bad habits when it comes to sleep. I’m pretty sure that I do just about everything that I found out that you shouldn’t do. Turns out, I have a lot of bad habits to fix, one at a time. How are your sleeping habits? How to do address them? What do you need to break? Leave me a comment below, I love hearing from you!