How to Start Sleeping Better Than Ever
By Paisley Hansen
August 4 2021 - For too many, good sleep is elusive. Quality sleep can mean the difference between a successful, productive day and a lousy one, as fatigue can wreak havoc on your mental, physical and emotional health. There are many reasons for restless sleep, but sometimes itís just a matter of making a few simple adjustments to your approach. Take a look at these tips for a better nightís sleep, so you can feel more well rested and ready to take on the day each morning.
Set Yourself up for Comfort
If your bedroom isnít the relaxing haven you had hoped it would be when you set it up, it may be time for a few upgrades. A good sleep environment is crucial for quality rest. Look around your room and take an inventory, noting potential distractions and ways you can enhance the calm nature of the space.
Find ways to make your bedroom a place for sleep and little else. You could be due for a few new improvements, like a dimmer lamp, a softer set of sheets, a double mattress or a better organizational system that eliminates the visual clutter that could be keeping you up at night.
Take it One Step at a Time
Your bodyís internal clock, or its circadian rhythm, is sensitive to many different factors. When your sleep schedule is generally unpredictable, your body may be confused on when itís really time to be asleep and when itís time to be up and alert.
To better set your schedule, find a consistent bedtime that allows you to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night before itís time to wake up. After youíve committed to a time, shift your bedtime about fifteen minutes earlier each night until youíre consistently going to bed at the same time every evening.
By making small adjustments in your routine, you give your body time to gently reconfigure its circadian rhythm, and soon youíll be falling asleep like clockwork.
Set the Mood
After a long day at work, an evening spent lounging on the couch while watching a favorite show is a nice way to unwind and get your mind off some of the dayís anxieties. Too much screen time, however, can disrupt your circadian rhythm and send signals to your body that itís time to be awake - especially if what youíre watching is exciting or invigorating as well.
Create a sleep environment that is conducive to sleep by triggering all five of your senses. Give yourself at least a half an hour of screen-free time before bedtime, and instead play some soothing music, wear some soft pajamas, drink a bedtime tea, light a calming candle or read a book to calm all of your senses.
Use Light to Your Advantage
If youíve ever woken up to the sunlight streaming through an opened window, youíve witnessed your bodyís natural circadian rhythms at work. Your internal clock is regulated by both light and darkness, so itís important to be mindful of light exposure when trying to get some shuteye.
In the evenings, keep your bedroom nice and dim or dark. The lack of light indicates that your body can start to enter a relaxed state and get ready for sleep. On the flip side, consider keeping your blinds open at night so when the morning comes, the early light can help you to wake up naturally. You may even find that light is powerful enough a signal to your body that you can ditch your alarm clock entirely.
Stick to a Routine
If consistent restful sleep is what youíre after, you have to be consistent with your routine. When you set a bedtime and wake time, stick to it pretty religiously. The goal is to train your body to sleep when itís time to sleep, and enjoy the benefits of a good nightís rest when itís time to leap out of bed in the early hours.
Hold fast to your routine even when itís hard. Deviations of an hour or so wonít completely mess up your progress, but the more regular your sleep habits are, the easier it will be to fall asleep, stay asleep, and the better youíll feel throughout the day.
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