Life is too short to be tired all the time. Sadly, you’re also too busy to spend another minute in bed than you have to. But you need good sleep for healthier physical and mental health. It’s important to maximize the quality of your sleep and squeeze in as much energy and rest out of every hour you’re in bed.
With a good night’s sleep, you can do your job well: whether you’re a teacher always in need of fresh insight or a busy injection molding manufacturer.
Healthy and successful people have a few sleep strategies they do before they turn in for the night. Consider doing the following, too.
Set a Sleep Schedule
The first thing you can do is set a fixed sleep schedule and stick to it — even on holidays and weekends. For the best results, go along with your personal rhythm; don’t fight it. Some people are programmed to wake up later in the day; others get up at the crack of dawn. Respect your body’s preferences as much as possible.
But what if you struggle with keeping your plan? If staying on track with the schedule is virtually impossible, set an alarm and go to bed.
Power Down Your Gadgets
Phones may be an “extension of your hand,” but they keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. The blue light emitted by your phone, computer and other gadgets can keep you up. Instead of browsing through your phone before you go to bed, switch them off for an hour or two before bedtime. Apart from encouraging you to sleep well, turning off your phone can also help you clear your head from the day’s concerns. So put watching the longest Youtube video on hold and go to sleep.
Check Your Pre-Bed Diet
Your body is not designed to sleep and digest at the same time, so make sure you either indulge in a heavy dinner earlier in the night or stick to a light snack if you plan to eat later.
If you feel puckish around bedtime, eat foods or drink beverages that optimize the release of melatonin. Warm milk and turkey contain tryptophan (a melatonin precursor), while oatcakes, chamomile, almonds and marmite are also good. Honey contains orexin, which reduces your alertness while bananas are rich in magnesium and serotonin.
In terms of beverages, you also need to be careful with consuming caffeine later in the day, especially if you want to get a good night’s rest. Alcohol can disturb your sleep at night. The nightcap may feel you drowsy but during the second half of the night, you’ll feel restless. So, if you want to enjoy a glass of wine, best to enjoy it earlier in the night.
Set the Scene for Sleep
What is your body’s ideal sleeping environment? For most people, a cool, quiet and dark setting can help them fall asleep faster. If this applies to you, do your best to eliminate light and noise from your room. If your home is loud during bedtime, use an air-conditioner, fan or a white noise machine or app to tone down the noise. Try earplugs if those don’t work.
A comfy bed is also important in achieving a good night’s sleep. This may mean splurging on quality pillows or a better mattress but think of them as long-term investments. Also, if you sleep with your pet, you may need to get them their own bed since your furry friends may compromise the quality of your sleep.
Adopt a Bedtime Ritual
Your mind and body need signals that it’s time to sleep, so establish a series of relaxing actions you can do at night that serves as your off switch. Taking a hot bath is good and so is reading. Just avoid checking your phone, your work email or other stressful or stimulating activities. These can raise your cortisol levels, which makes going to sleep more difficult.
Don’t Stress Yourself
A regular sleep schedule is great, but don’t stress out or enslave yourself to a plan if you’re not sleepy at the “right” time. If you’re not drifting off after 15 or 20 minutes, get up and do some of your pre-bed rituals.
Whatever you do, don’t obsess over the time. Checking out your clock when you are trying to fall asleep increases your stress levels, which make falling asleep difficult. Instead, don’t obsess over the time. Try to fall asleep.
A popular saying claims that sleep is for the weak. On the contrary, it’s for the successful. If you want to gain more from your day, try to get a good night’s sleep.