There’s a big difference between sleeping and getting a good night’s sleep. Sometimes you can go to sleep at night, but wake up feeling tired in the morning because you didn’t get a restful night’s sleep. Your goal is to fall soundly asleep about 10-20 minutes after your head hits the pillow. If you can’t fall asleep easily or stay asleep then it’s worthwhile to figure out how you can sleep better. You might need to adjust your night-time routine and your bedroom setup.
Use these tips to help prepare yourself for good night’s sleep each and every night:
1. Create a calm bedroom atmosphere.
Did you know that a peaceful night begins with a comfortable, calm and clutter-free bedroom? In addition to a good mattress, get a comfortable pillow too. Try out different types to find one that feels most relaxing. Calm nature scenes and curtains that block out light contribute to a calm and relaxing bedroom atmosphere. Remove clutter from your bedroom so that your mind isn’t distracted when getting ready for bed. Be sure to wash your sheets and pillow cases with lavender-scented detergent or softener so that they smell fresh and clean. Jasmine, vanilla or sea breeze are also relaxing choices.
2. Cut out late night snacks.
Did you know that late night snacking can lead to sleepless nights? In order to eliminate this problem, nutritionists recommend that the last big meal of the day should be two to three hours before going to bed. Some foods are more difficult to digest than others. Those are the ones to stay away from at night. Stick to simple, digestible dinner options. Avoid heavy meats, creamy dishes and ice cream. Fatty or fried foods are best to avoid at night since these foods can cause heartburn. Avoid caffeinated drinks after dark. Go for a cup of caffeine-free tea instead.
3. Dim the lights.
As you get closer to bedtime, it’s a good idea to turn down the lights and lower intrusive sounds. Light and sound keep the mind constantly active. Therefore your body responds by staying awake because of all the activity stimulating the brain. Cut out TV and computer/tablet/smartphone use at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
4. Unwind your mind.
Relaxation is one of the key elements to a restful night’s sleep. Reserve time before bed to clear your mind. This could make the difference between sleeping soundly and bad dreams. What makes you relax? Is it fifteen minutes soaking in the tub or focusing on one of your hobbies? Whatever it is, squeeze it into your end-of-day routine. Spend some time curled up with a magazine or some light reading. It’s a great way to get your mind off the stresses of the day.
Write down your to-do list for the next day in order to get it off your mind. When you lie down in bed, take a moment or two to listen to pure silence. That’s the state you want to be in while you’re asleep. Quiet moments help release distracting thoughts from your mind.
You owe it to yourself to sleep better. Once you find a night-time routine and bedroom setup that works for you, you’ll have more energy and be more efficient throughout the day.
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