From waking up in the middle of the night to finding it difficult to nod off, failing to get a good night’s sleep can leave you feeling awful the next day. In this article, we’ll explore eight simple hacks to boost your sleep quality—for good.
So keep reading if you want to discover the key to a good night’s rest while creating healthy sleeping habits for the future…
Getting enough sleep is essential for your overall health. For most adults, that’s seven or eight hours each night. Your brain goes through several different cycles of sleep each night, performing various functions such as:
- Processing information surrounding emotions.
- Regulating your mood and other cognitive functions.
- Cell and muscle repair and renewal.
- Processing learning and memory.
- Regulation of appetite hormones.
If you regularly suffer from poor sleep, you’ll know how tiredness can affect the mind, making you feel lethargic, irritable, and downright miserable. So, let’s talk about how to get better sleep with a few simple hacks.
1. Avoid using technology before sleep.
In the modern world, we enjoy more screen time than ever before. While this is good news for technological development and productivity, it’s not as beneficial for our brains. That’s because tech devices, such as phones, laptops, and TV screens, emit blue light.
This blue light exposure tricks our brains into believing it’s daytime, thus interrupting the sleep cycle and potentially hindering the brain from releasing the sleep hormone melatonin. To combat this, ditch all devices at least two hours before bed and use the nighttime light settings on your tech.
2. Stick to a schedule.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to improve your sleep is to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning—even on weekends. Our brains operate on a 24-hour clock, also known as the circadian rhythm, which releases certain chemicals to help you wake up and fall asleep each day.
Sticking to a regular sleep schedule will support this clock and the associated chemical production. Those who do this find it far easier to wake up and are less likely to be sleepily hitting the snooze button.
3. Create a bedtime routine.
We’ve discussed why a regular sleep schedule is crucial for your health, and the same goes for developing a bedtime routine before sleep. If you’re all charged up right until you hit the hay, it can make it difficult for your brain to lose that momentum and relax into a peaceful sleep.
Take the time to plan a wind-down routine and guard this time each night before you go to bed. Steps in a sleep routine may include:
- Drinking a herbal, caffeine-free hot drink.
- Taking a relaxing soak in the bath.
- Reading a book or journaling.
- Light stretching or practicing gentle yoga.
- Meditating or mindfulness.
- Listening to calming music or podcasts.
The goal is to calm your body and mind down instead of ramping up. Try and begin this routine about 2 hours before bed, or at least 30 minutes.
4. Deal with stress.
If you regularly struggle to get good sleep due to stress, it’s time to tackle the cause of your woes head-on. It’s common for people with sleep difficulties to lie awake with racing thoughts, worried about events of the day, or mentally reviewing the to-do list of tomorrow.
You may have heard that age-old saying about not going to sleep while angry at your partner, but tackling stress before you go to bed is just as crucial. Whether you reduce your workload or avoid endless social media doom-scrolling, now is the time to prioritize relaxation and guard your sleep against stress and anxiety.
5. Optimize your environment.
Plenty of things in the bedroom may disrupt your sleep, from the noise of traffic outside to light peeking in through the window in the early hours. That’s why it’s a good idea to assess your sleeping environment to ensure that:
- Your bedroom is cool, dark, and free from clutter.
- Bedding and soft furnishings are dust and allergen-free.
- Your mattress isn’t making you uncomfortable.
- Your pillows are correctly supporting your head and neck.
- There are no blue light-emitting screens left on.
- The room is quiet, calm, and clean.
Your bedroom is your sanctuary, and optimizing it is conducive to a great night’s sleep. If you struggle to regulate your temperature at night, ensure your bedding and clothes are breathable and you aren’t sleeping under a huge pile of blankets.
6. Exercise regularly.
Those with young children will know that if they haven’t had enough exercise or mental stimulation during the day, getting them to bed at the right time without a tantrum will be nearly impossible. What many forget is that it’s the same for adults, too.
Not only can exercise help you burn off excess energy, but it helps release happy chemicals that contribute toward a good night’s sleep while decreasing stress hormones. Vigorous exercise before bed isn’t a good idea as it can further wake you up, but regular morning workouts can be highly beneficial, even if just a brisk walk.
7. Write down your thoughts.
Journaling has become popular in recent years thanks to its ability to help the brain sort out problems by documenting your thoughts and feelings. Journaling can also be great for sleep, especially if you find yourself lying awake with racing thoughts.
Dedicate 10-15 minutes each night to writing down your thoughts or making your to-do list for the next day. This can help to create mental boundaries between the momentum of a busy mind and one that is relaxed and ready to sleep. Once you’ve written your list, allow your mind to rest, safe in the knowledge the following day’s tasks are already taken care of.
8. Switch to decaf.
While most of us avoid caffeinated drinks such as energy drinks, coffee, and tea right before bed, this may not be enough to prevent their stimulating effects from wreaking havoc on our sleep.
That’s why it’s best to avoid stimulants at least six hours before bed – including chocolate and particular brands of chewing gum.
Now you know some easy hacks to help you fall asleep fast, from ensuring your bedroom is cool and dark to avoiding tech before bed. Now, go and catch those Zs.
About the Author: Debbie is an experienced writer currently based in the UK working in an agency for clients such as Best Price Beds. She has been a part of the creative and writing industries for the last 11 years and aims to generate content that inspires, educates, and helps her readers thrive.
Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/adorable-animal-baby-blur-279360/
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
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