Although a good night’s sleep is just as important as healthy eating and regular exercise, many people drop the ball when it comes to getting adequate rest. Getting enough sleep is essential to your well-being.
Here are some tips to help you sleep better.
Be Consistent with Your Sleep-Wake Cycle.
One of the most effective ways to sleep better is to go to bed and get up at the same time. Being consistent gets you in sync with your body’s circadian rhythm. That consistency reinforces your body’s natural inner clock.
Try to avoid catching up on sleep over the weekend. Limit the variation in your sleep schedule on the weekends to no more than one hour. When you vary your sleep schedule by more than an hour, it affects the quality of your sleep by disrupting your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
Restrict Alcohol, Nicotine and Caffeine Use.
Caffeine acts as a stimulant for up to 12 hours. This includes energy drinks and nicotine. The stimulating effects of caffeine, nicotine and energy drinks stay in your system for many hours after being consumed and make sleeping difficult.
Although alcohol may make you sleepy initially, it disrupts sleep later during the night.
Exercise not only keeps you healthy but helps you sleep better. Avoid exercise within 2-3 hours of bedtime.
Limit Sugar, Carbs and Heavy Meals at Night.
Pay attention to what you eat in the evening. Sugar and carbs make it harder to fall and stay asleep. Avoid refined carbs such as pasta, white bread, and white rice. Don’t eat a heavy meal in the evening. It’s fine to eat a light snack before bedtime. You don’t want to go to bed stuffed or hungry.
Don’t Take Naps After 3 pm.
Limit naps to 15-30 minutes. Avoid naps late in the day.
Do Not Worry at Bedtime.
Many people tend to worry the most at bedtime. This is the worst possible time to mull over your anxieties, fears or concerns. Everything is exaggerated and feels far worse when you are tired.
Postpone thinking about anything until you are rested. Refocus your mind on your breath and clear your mind as much as possible.
If you awaken during the night with something on your mind, write it down and deal with it in the morning.