9 Things to Guarantee Good Sleep

Sleeping well is the key to life. It gives you more energy, helps balance your hormones, and keeps you alert during the day, just to name a few benefits. But getting the sleep you need – and want – can be tricky. Here, we’ll discuss how you can rest easy, and it all starts with a dark, quiet room of serenity.

1. A Dark and Quiet Space

Bright lights tell your biological clock it’s time to stay awake. In your bedroom, turn off all lights, including your computer, tablet, and bedside lamp, so your body knows you need to sleep. Add curtains to your windows and keep them closed at night. This will allow light into your room only during the day, just as it should be.

When we sleep, we continue to process background noises, so it’s best to also keep the TV off. White noise, on the other hand, is beneficial and can block environmental sounds like the neighbor’s car door shutting. For added touches, clear away clutter and keep tranquil pictures on your bedroom walls.

2. Stick to a Consistent Schedule

The body is designed to function in a loop and naturally aligns itself with sunrise and sunset. A consistent schedule can help your body stick to this rhythm and provide long-term sleep quality. For this reason, we recommend going to bed and waking at the same time every night and morning. Use an alarm to help, even on the weekends; after several weeks, you may not need it anymore.

3. Exercise During the Day

Exercise raises body temperature and speeds up metabolism. Because of these effects, workouts should be completed at least three hours before bedtime. If you are still experiencing sleep difficulties, move your workouts to earlier in the day. Unlike vigorous exercise, some movements can help you relax in the evenings. Yoga, low-impact stretching and tai chi each keep you in the moment and require you to focus on breathing. This can lead to better sleep at night.

4. Create a Sleep Ritual

Remember when you were a child and your parents tucked you in at night? Having bedtime rituals as an adult can have the same comforting effect. Think of an activity you can easily do every night, and stick to it. Read a book, drink a cup of hot tea (decaffeinated), or meditate.

5. Keep Your Bed Cool and Comfortable

A cool bed – and bedroom – jumpstarts your body’s natural instinct to rest. A bed that is too hot can interfere with this instinct and make it harder to fall asleep. For this reason, we recommend using breathable sheets, a cooling pillow, and/or a cooling mattress pad. Also, try pajamas that wick away moisture.
Choose blankets and pillows that allow your head to rest easy and your body to move freely. Don’t skimp on quality; higher thread counts usually mean a softer, plusher feel. Finally, remember to select colors that make you feel calm; light green and light blue are both good choices.

6. Practice Deep Breathing

Sometimes, the problem isn’t getting to sleep but staying that way. For this problem, we recommend breathing exercises that will help keep worries at bay and relax your body. Try the following steps the next time you wake in the middle of the night:
      • Close your eyes
      • Place a hand on your chest and the other on your stomach
      • Breathe in through your nose
      • Exhale through your mouth, releasing as much air as possible
      • Repeat until you are asleep again

7. Spray a Scent

Lavender is just one scent known to promote relaxation. It slows the heart rate and lowers skin temperature. To take advantage, use a lavender-scented room spray before you go to bed. Vanilla, valerian, and jasmine also reduce stress and promote deeper, more refreshing sleep quality.

8. Spend Time Outside

Our bodies are naturally regulated by exposure to light. Sunlight has the most powerful effect, so work time into your schedule to go outside. Doing this in the morning can help normalize your circadian rhythm so you’re ready to sleep at night. During the winter months, when sunlight is less plentiful, ask your doctor about using a light therapy box.

9. Watch Your Diet

Eating a heavy meal right before bedtime can slow digestion and make it difficult to relax. We suggest you eat dinner at least three hours before bedtime. In this same vein, you should also limit your caffeine intake and avoid alcohol.
Getting a good night’s sleep is no longer a dream. With a few adjustments to your schedule and some creative planning, you’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time.

 

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