Sleep can sometimes be elusive, but it doesn’t have to be. Creating healthy sleep habits can make a big difference for both your physical and mental health. Scroll down to learn about 10 tips for better sleep at night.
Having healthy sleep habits is often referred to as having good sleep hygiene. Try to keep the following sleep practices on a consistent basis for better sleep at night…
Tip #1 – Stick to a Schedule
Do you go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time, too? If not, The Sleep Foundation encourages this as a best practice. That’s because sticking to a schedule helps regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
Tip #2 – Watch What You Eat and Drink Before Bedtime
The Mayo Clinic encourages you to avoid heavy and large meals right before going to bed. Your discomfort might add up. Plus, the effects of nicotine and alcohol take hours to wear off before bedtime.
Tip #3 – Exercise Helps!
That’s right! Going for a brisk walk won’t just trim you down, but also helps you sleep better at night. A study in the journal Sleep found that postmenopausal women who exercised for about three-and-a-half hours a week had an easier time falling asleep than women who exercised less often. Just watch the timing of your workouts. Exercising too close to bedtime can be stimulating.
Tip #4 – Create the Ideal Room for Sleep
Here’s a fun trivia question — What’s the ideal room temperate for sleeping? If you guessed between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, then you’d be right! According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, 73% of Americans also say the darker the room, the better.
Tip #5 – Wind Down Before Bedtime
Pro-Tip: Don’t stare at your phone right before bedtime. The lighting from electronics actually stimulates your brain while you’re trying to sleep and wakes you up. Instead, focus on reading, meditating, or even taking a warm bath. The important thing is to focus on activities that are gentle and relaxing instead of looking at a bright screen.
Tip #6 – Practice Deep Breathing
Breathing from your belly rather than your chest can activate the relaxation response and lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels to help you drift off to sleep. Try it before going to bed.
Tip #7 – Create a Worry Journal
If you’re bringing too much negativity with you before going to bed, write it down! Psychologist and author Steven Sosny encourages the use of a “Worry Journal” as an emotional outlet tool. Just the act of acknowledging the thoughts you’re having can make them easier to process and provide some clarity on why they’re causing you sleepless nights.
Tip #8 – Napping Is Fine, But…
Avoid napping late in the afternoon and evening. Naps may keep you awake at night.
Tip #9 – Keep Your Neck Neutral
Neck pain is a common reason many people have trouble falling asleep. Maintaining proper posture can reduce the probability of neck pain and help you get better sleep. Make sure your neck is in a “neutral” position. That means your nose should line up with the center of your body.
Tip #10 – If You Can’t Sleep…
If you’re not asleep within 20 to 30 minutes, get out of bed. Try reading a book in another room and when you’re feeling tired, come back to bed. The purpose is not to lie in bed for long periods of time to train your mind that the bed is only for sleep.
Did these better sleep tips help you? I’d love to hear your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to receive more great tips straight to your inbox each Friday.