19 Sleep Tips on How to Get the Best Night’s Sleep
1. Exercise Regularly – positive stressors like exercise prepare your body for rest. An evening walk or yoga session is a great idea.
2. Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule – this helps regulate your “internal clock” and can aid in a restful night’s sleep. Pick a time and stick to it.
3. Maintain Healthy Eating Habits – when you eat junk calories like refined carbohydrates, your body’s digestive system can be disrupted. Studies show that healthy eaters are better sleepers.
4. Take it Easy an Hour before Bed – read your favorite book, walk at a relaxed pace, or simply enjoy the sunset. Do something you enjoy.
5. Limit Nap Times to 30 minutes – excessive napping disrupts your body’s natural circadian rhythm (related to #2 above), so keep your naps to a half-hour or less.
6. Ban Pets from the Bed – cats, dogs and snakes (ewww! ) have different sleeping patterns than us humans. Keep your critters in their own beds, and you’ll sleep better.
7. Keep the Room Cool – if your bedroom is too warm, your body’s internal temperature will try to compensate the other way. This often results in thirst, cramps and other sleep disruptions.
8. Avoid Alcohol before Bed – consuming beer, wine or spirits makes it more likely you’ll wake up in the middle of the night. Some experts think the spike in blood sugar is to blame.
9. Watch the Caffeine Intake – remember, that cup of coffee is for breakfast, not an after-dinner indulgence. If you enjoy coffee, soda or tea at night, try the decaffeinated varieties.
10. Turn off all Electronics – the barely detectable pulse can make it tougher to get some shut eye.
11. Resist Hitting the Snooze Button in the Morning – remember, regular sleep schedules have as much to do with waking up as they do with going to bed. Rise on time, and you’ll sleep on time.
12. Skip Heavy Meals at Night – this puts your digestive system into overdrive. If you’re hungry, have a light meal or snack. Save the buffets for lunch or early dinner.
13. Stretch Before Bed – stretching reduces stress and tells your body, “OK, it’s time to wind down for the night.” Suggested stretches: simple squats, toe-touches, and even exercises like jumping jacks.
14. Use Separate Blankets in a Shared Bed – married couples can attest: there’s nothing more intrusive to sleep than a hard tug on your blanket. Keep the blankets separated, and you’ll enjoy a better overall sleep.
15. Keep your Bedroom Dim or Dark – if your bedroom has a light source, your body will be tricked into thinking the sun’s coming up (or has never gone down). Blackout curtains can help with outside sources. For internal sources, shut off those electronic devices (see #10).
16. Avoid Drinking too many Liquids before Bed – drink too much, and you’ll be in the bathroom at 2 AM. If you’re thirsty before bedtime, an 8-ounce glass of water should do just fine.
17. Get a New Mattress – worn mattresses can rob you of much-needed sleep. Hey, we know a great place to get a new mattress.
18. Keep the Bedroom Quiet – noise diminishes your ability to enter into the deep REM stages of sleep. If you must have some background noise, try a small fan or sleep machine. It is recommended that you sleep with no noise, but a constant drone (such as a fan) can sometimes help.
19. Clear Your Thoughts when Trying to fall Asleep – the day is over, what’s done is done. And tomorrow’s problems can be tackled…tomorrow. When you get into bed, simply relax and let everything to. Your body will thank you in the morning!