Getting a good night’s rest is important for a variety of reasons. Adequate sleep reduces stress and improves productivity, memory, and creativity. Not everyone has an easy time establishing a good sleeping habit. Stress and an unhealthy lifestyle are just some of the things that can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. For the extraordinarily busy, getting a good night’s sleep becomes a luxury.
Featured below are several practices and tips that can help you improve your sleeping habit.
Make your room more sleep-friendly
Sometimes the main reason why people have trouble sleeping is because of distractions in their bedroom. Make sure that your room is in an ideal temperature, not too hot or not too cold. Adjust your air-conditioning or heater until you’re most comfortable. Make sure that your room can be as dark as possible. Get rid of sources of noise and distractions. Consider soundproofing your room if necessary.
Stop staring at your clock
Occasionally checking the time when you’re trying to sleep causes a lot of stress. If you find yourself looking at your clock while your head is already buried in your pillow, consider turning it off or turning it around.
Start a bedtime rituals
A bedtime ritual is basically something you do to relax before turning in for the night. Practice a few breathing exercises or even do a bit of stretching before going to bed. Dim the lights and avoid activities that can cause excitement or anxiety.
Use your bed for nothing but sleep (and sex)
Take your work, your dissertation, and anything else associated with your job or studies out of your bedroom. Use your bed and bedroom for nothing but sleep. If you have a partner, use it for nothing but sleep and intimacy. You want to associate your bedroom with the idea of rest and relaxation and nothing else. Avoid doing any activities in your bedroom that inspire stress or anxiety.
Never underestimate the importance of a good pillow and mattress
Make sure that your mattress and pillows are still soft and comfortable. After a few years, mattresses and pillows tend to get stiff and uncomfortable to use. Buy new mattresses and pillows if necessary. Otherwise consider dusting them off or changing their sheets. You want to sleep like a rock, but the last thing you want is to feel like you’re sleeping on a rock.
Buy a white noise machine
White noise can help boost concentration and it can also help people sleep easier. White noise machines can be bought just about anywhere. If you don’t feel like buying one, there are a variety of aps that emulate white noise. These aps can be set to deactivate after a set amount of time. Set the noise to play for an hour or a couple of hours, up until the point when you usually fall asleep.
Force yourself to stick to a sleep schedule every day
Go to sleep around the same time each night and wake up at around the same time every morning. Do this every day. Most people prefer to sleep in on the weekends, or stay up all night on Fridays and Saturdays. Avoid doing this if you can. Forcing yourself to maintain an everyday sleep schedule allows you to regulate your body’s internal clock. This allows you to more easily fall asleep and wake up, even if you’re otherwise stressed or tired.
Tire yourself out before going to sleep
Lying in bed for half an hour without falling asleep can be a sign that you’re not tired enough to slumber. If this happens, get out of bed, go to another room and do something that can help you relax. Read a book or listen to relaxing music, then get right back to bed the moment you start feeling drowsy.
Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine
Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine before turning in for the night. Cigarettes, caffeine, and alcohol can disrupt sleep.
Avoid big meals before turning in
Taking big meals before going to bed can cause indigestion. Don’t eat a big meal before going to bed. If you can, avoid going to sleep immediately after dinner.
Avoid napping too much if you have trouble sleeping at night
Naps are a reliable means of getting a quick bout of rest. But if you find yourself having trouble sleeping every time you get an afternoon nap, then you’re probably better off not napping in the first place.
Get plenty of liquids
Drink enough fluids before going to bed to avoid waking up because of thirst. A glass of warm milk or hot chocolate can be especially effective.
Exercise can help you sleep better. If you can, try to exercise every day. Make sure not to push yourself too much.
Practice the tips you’re most comfortable with or the ones who best apply to your situation. If none of these tips work to help improve your sleeping habit, then you may be suffering from a sleep disorder like narcolepsy or sleep apnea. If your sleep difficulties just won’t go away, consider asking the opinion of a sleep expert or a physician.