Our bodies need a good night’s rest. Restricting your hours of sleep or dealing with insomnia can wreak havoc on your health. I’ve been dealing with this for years and know it to be true. It impacts your mood and your focus during the day, as well. I’ve learned from doing some sleep studies that good sleep hygiene can be improved by adding some simple habits to your routine. These will help you to get on a more realistic and consistent sleep schedule. Try these things if you want to improve your slumber.
Stay on Schedule
Instead of maintaining erratic hours, try setting a sleep routine that is the same every day. Go to bed and wake up at the same time seven days a week in order to help regulate your body. Soon, you’ll automatically feel tired when it’s bedtime, sleep the whole night through, and wake up refreshed.
Create a Ritual
One reason it’s hard to lose weight is that we tend to follow a strict meal schedule and eat what’s put on our plate. I know I grew up being a member of the “clean plate club.” That’s what we’ve learned as a society. There is another way to approach what you put in your body and when. It’s called intuitive eating, and it involves listening to your body for signs that you’re hungry instead of adhering to a strict schedule. Creating a quiet night time routine can help your body and brain to know when it’s time to wind down. This can be a very pleasant activity you may find you enjoy. Try to move away from bright lights and the blue light of electronic devices. Add quiet music and herbal tea, if you’d like. A bath or reading a book can be nice, too.
Avoid Certain Substances
Some things like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and spicy foods are terrible for sleep. Avoid them three to four hours before going to bed. They can make it hard to fall asleep or disrupt your sleep cycle, leading to nightly wakings.
Adjust Your Environment
Is your bedroom conducive to sleep? Some simple changes can ensure that it is. Try to make your space cool, dark, and as quiet as possible. Light blocking curtains help, and you can turn your thermostat down a few degrees before heading to bed. Noise machines help some people fall asleep and drown out distracting sounds. You could also try noise canceling headphones or ear plugs.
Don’t Toss and Turn
If you should have trouble falling asleep, don’t subject yourself to the frustration of tossing and turning. Just get up and read some more or engage in another quiet activity. It can help to go to another room to do this. About 20 minutes to a half hour should do the trick. Notice if you’re feeling sleepy and then go back to bed to try again.
Keep these simple habits in mind if you want to consistently sleep better. Some may work better than others for you, but they’re bound to make a difference. It’s easy to underestimate the importance of a good night’s rest. Give these tips a try, and you’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time.
Until next time...
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