Sleep – it’s pretty important. Sleeping well directly affects both our mental and physical health, our ability to cope with the challenges that the world throws at us and the quality of our lives. In short, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most effective ways that we can look after ourselves.
The average adult needs a recommended amount of between seven and nine hours sleep per night, yet many of us will fall short of this target – a third of Americans, in fact. That’s without considering how many of us end up with restless nights and poor-quality sleep as well.
If you struggle to switch off at the end of the day and are looking for ways to improve how much sleep you get, then here are several ways to get a good night’s sleep.
Have a regular bedtime
Everyone has an internal body clock and setting it correctly is one way to help you sleep. If your mind knows that at 11pm every night it is going to be switched off for the night, then it will prepare accordingly and become acquainted with a routine of doing so. By going to sleep at the same time every day, you’ll be helping to optimize the quality of your sleep.
Switch off all electronic devices an hour before bed
One reason many of us cannot get to sleep at night is because we are still playing through the day in our minds. You need a clear head in order to sleep and you won’t get that if you are reading social media or replying to emails immediately before turning in for the night. Switch off all electronic devices an hour before you go to bed to allow the realities of life to escape your mind, leaving it empty for when it hits the pillow.
Exercise during the day
Exercising during the day will make you feel less sleepy in daylight hours and help you sleep better at night. After exercise, our body requires longer in the deep stages of sleep for its restorative properties. The more deep sleep we have, the better quality of sleep we have.
Improve your sleep environment
If not being comfortable if the reason that you struggle for a good night’s sleep, then it’s probably time to change the environment in which you sleep. That could mean little changes like investing in new pillows or blankets or big changes like a whole new bed or mattress. The mattress is particularly important as that is what is supporting and comforting you through the night. Everybody will have a different preference for what they require – if you aren’t sure about what you want or need when it comes to a mattress, then this Leesa Vs Casper guide might be some use.
Tailor your food and eating times around bedtime
What and when you eat and drink can have a big affect on the quality of your sleep. You probably don’t need to be told to avoid caffeine in the lead up to bed, but nicotine and alcohol can also both disrupt sleep. Eating a big meal within two hours of going to bed will leave your body trying to process them when it should be concentrating on sleeping and eating lots of sugar or refined carbs can lead to wakefulness and pull you out of the deep, restorative stages of sleep.