A better night's sleep can make a huge difference in your ability to reach your goals. Check out some tips on how to be well-rested to crush your goals!
A good night’s sleep is important for us to have enough energy and mental clarity. Without proper sleep, you are bound to find it hard to focus on tasks or work during the day which can lead to problems up ahead. You will become more irritable and easily stressed when problems or issues arise. Being less alert is also common for those not getting enough quality sleep, which can be dangerous when you are driving, working, or doing anything that requires faster reflexes and your full attention.
A good night's sleep helps give us vital fuel so we can live life each morning without waking feeling sluggish or groggy from lack of sufficient shuteye; let alone feel less irate about anything icky going down in our day.
Sleep is essential to our health and well-being. It’s important that we make sure to get enough sleep every night, but this can be hard sometimes! Luckily for us, there are many ways you can ensure quality of sleep so your mind and body both have the rest they need. Here are some helpful tips on how to improve your sleeping habits.
Sleep on a schedule
You may not realize this, but following a schedule every night promotes better quality sleep. Our bodies need to be trained to fall asleep and wake up at the same time. Training your body in this way also ensures you get the amount of sleep you need to take on every day.
A sample schedule would be to go to bed at 10 PM and wake at 6 AM for 8 hours of sleep. Sticking to this schedule for just a few days in a row should start to show you how much more rested you can feel. The best part is that doing this consistently creates a habit.
After a while, you’ll automatically start feeling tired when it’s close to bedtime and waking up naturally at the time you’d normally set an alarm for. Generally speaking, it takes twenty-one days of doing something for it to become a habit. Once you find the perfect bedtime, do it for twenty-one days and see if that gives you a better night's sleep.
Increase your physical activity leads to a better night's sleep
Exercising every day allows you to burn energy that may otherwise still be pent up in your body at bedtime. The best way to combat this is to be more active throughout the day. Incorporate some activity in your schedule where you can, such as hitting the gym early in the morning or taking a walk at lunch.
Break free from this detrimental cycle by avoiding naps, especially in the late afternoon. It may take a few days, but you’ll see that you are sleeping better at night since you aren’t teasing your body with mediocre extra rest during the day.
That twenty-one days to build a habit comes into play here as well. You don't have to pick the same exercise, but it would be best to pick a set time if you can and exercise at least thirty minutes daily. I personally do it first thing in the morning so it's not looming over my head all day long.
Stay away from caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant that our bodies use for more focus and energy. Because of this, it’s best to avoid drinking any caffeine for several hours before bedtime. Scientific studies have shown that the effects of caffeine can last in the body up to 6 hours after drinking it. So, if you have a 10 PM bedtime, you want to make sure you don’t have any coffee or soft drinks after 3-4 PM every day.
Substitute soft drinks and energy drinks for sparkling water later into the day. If you crave the flavor of coffee in the evening time, try your favorite drinks with a switch to decaf. A cup of sleepy time tea can also be helpful and delicious.
Coffee is also a diuretic and can make you dehydrated. Drinking water and staying hydrated will help you feel better overall and that could also lead to a better night's sleep. Here are some great tips on how to get your water in every day.
For a better night's sleep, disconnect long before bed
To help yourself relax and get ready for sleep, it’s vital that you unplug from any tech devices at least one hour before bedtime. Turn off the TV, lock your phone, and shut down your computer for the evening. Don’t be tempted to just watch a few YouTube videos before bed. This can keep your brain alert and wired, making it difficult to rest.
In the worst-case scenario, if it’s not entirely possible for you to disconnect, invest in some blue light screen protectors, or blue light glasses. These counteract the blue light that LED screens emit that stimulates your brain. This will help you wind down, even while using most devices.
In today's digital age, this can be challenging. For me, even my books are on my phone. If you cannot get away from your device, try switching to nighttime mode while you read. And reading is a much better way to try to fall asleep than scrolling on social media or going down the TiK Tok rabbit hole. Those activities are way too stimulating for your brain and will make it take longer to fall asleep.
Develop a helpful bedtime routine
It helps to be relaxed and ready to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. Help create this by following a relaxing bedtime routine. Take a bubble bath, listen to relaxing music, pamper yourself with scented lotions, or practice aromatherapy in the bedroom.
Relaxing is different for everyone. If you find your calm by drawing, writing, reading, skincare, or anything else, that’s awesome, too! All of these things will calm your senses and all your body to feel calm and at peace, as you place your head on the pillow to sleep at night.
These don't have to be long and drawn-out routines. Putting on an aromatherapy lotion takes just a few minutes, but can be a signal to your brain that it's time to shut down for the night. Scent is a powerful trigger for our brain, so using that can be helpful to get a better night's sleep.
Avoid heavy eating before bed for a better night's sleep
Consuming a large meal too close to bedtime can definitely have an effect on how well you sleep. It can hinder the natural production of melatonin in your body, which is a hormone your body produces that is necessary to feel tired and ready to sleep. Plus it can just make you feel icky to try to sleep on a super-full stomach.
It is okay to have a light snack about an hour before bed. Choose protein and low carbs, if possible, as that will be more filling and keep you satisfied through the night. Another option is a protein shake geared towards sleep.
Create a relaxing environment
It's important to have a room that is conducive for quality sleep. Clean up your bedroom, keep it at the right temperature and make sure you can relax there without worrying about waking up in the morning with a mess on every inch of floor space. You want to be in a space that is comfortable and relaxing to help you get a better night's sleep.
If you wear pajamas to sleep, they should be loose cotton pajamas. This will help to avoid getting overheated and waking up sweating during the night. Play soft music or a white noise machine with a timer to help you get to sleep soon after your head hits the pillow.
The goal is to fall asleep within 15 minutes of laying down for the best sleep - if you toss, turn, or lay awake too long, it will be hard for your body to relax and get the sleep it needs. Setting up a relaxing environment will make it more likely that you fall asleep right away.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your mind and body. Your mood, productivity, and stress levels will also thank you when you are sleeping enough every night. If you have a great tip for a better night’s sleep, let us know in the comments!