Implement These 8 Habits for Better Sleep
Are the zzz’s evading you at night? Research has shown that sleep — or a lack thereof — significantly impacts your health and well-being. Lucky for you, implementing new habits can improve your sleep without adding stress to your day.
By making these eight lifestyle changes, you’ll have an easier time capturing the elusive slumber. Why wait and experience another day of exhaustion? Read on!
1. Put Away the Electronics
The blue light emitted by electronic devices impacts the body’s circadian rhythm. This is the process your body uses to determine when to begin producing melatonin, the chemical that helps you fall asleep. When your body’s internal clock is interrupted, your sleep cycle loses balance, making it difficult to fall asleep and wake up on time.
The solution is simple — put away electronics at least an hour before bed. By doing this, your brain can recognize it is dark and therefore time to go to sleep. If parting from your devices feels like a greater struggle than it is worth, then consider wearing blue light glasses. This useful eyewear will filter out the blue light emitted from your lightbulbs, television screens and devices. It also dims the lighting in the evening.
2. Design an Evening Routine
Did you know routines are calming and can reduce anxiety? Maintaining a schedule can help you feel in control of your life and manage your time with ease. As a result, you have more time for the activities you enjoy and can go to sleep feeling like you had a successful day. Worries can keep you up at night, but an evening routine can keep your mind on track.
Many people have standardized morning habits, so why not make bedtime customs too? Design an evening routine that’s relaxing and settles your thoughts.
Popular soothing nighttime activities include:
Reading a book or journaling.
Drinking a warm cup of decaffeinated tea.
Taking a hot shower or bath.
Meditating or listening to calming music.
Dedicating time for intimacy.
3. Use a Planner
Try using a planner before going to bed. It allows you to write down your thoughts and quiet your mind. This practice will keep you accountable to your goals and reduce your evening anxiety.
Encourage your children to use their planners each day. When they actively utilize it, they have an easier time managing tasks and checking off crucial assignments. As a parent, this shifts the responsibility onto them and holds them accountable. Rest easy knowing you can simply check their planners if you're questioning due dates and assignments for your child’s schooling.
4. Keep a Notebook Near Your Bed
While writing in your planner is like a brain dump, random thoughts may pop into your head throughout the night. Keep a notebook near the bed so you can write things down and fall back to sleep. Without it, those sporadic ideas can haunt your sleep, leaving you feeling restless. Plus, who wants to wake up feeling like they forgot something?
5. Create a Regular Sleep Schedule
The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep each day. Too much sleep is harmful to the body, so don’t attempt to catch up on rest by sleeping for 12 hours straight. Instead, create a fixed schedule to form a healthy pattern for your body to follow each day. By falling asleep and waking up at the same time — even on the weekends — the schedule becomes second-nature and your body regulates.
Remember that younger children need more sleep, so set your kid’s bedtime several hours before your own.
6. Limit Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine, alcohol and late meals will all influence your circadian rhythm. Focus on eating in moderation and limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption late in the day. While some people believe drinking alcohol makes them tired and helps them sleep well, it acts as a sedative and suppresses rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, ultimately causing sleep disruptions.
7. Construct a Restful Environment
While this may seem obvious, creating a restful environment will allow you to achieve better quality sleep each evening. Select comfortable furnishing and regularly wash your bedding to avoid unpleasant odors.
Set the room to a cool but comfortable temperature and utilize dark curtains or an eye mask to block out light. To add to your relaxation, you can try adding calming scents like lavender to your bedroom.
8. Get Enough Exercise
Regular exercise can improve sleep quality and alleviate symptoms of insomnia. Studies have shown that moderate physical activity can reduce the time it takes for your body to fall asleep and lengthens the resting period.
For the best sleep, perform rigorous activity earlier in the day so your body can rest and calm down before bedtime.
The Bottom Line
If you want a better night’s sleep, what are you waiting for? Begin implementing these eight habits to change your lifestyle and revolutionize your evening routine. These strategies will also help you readjust if you travel to a different time zone or begin a new shift at work.
Take a deep breath — if you perform these tips and still struggle with quality rest, you should speak with your doctor. An underlying health condition may be impacting your sleep.