Experts are in agreement that there are at least 7 things you may need to consider if you want to sleep better. Although some are common, others may not be things you’re thinking about.
1. Respect your circadian rhythm
We all have an internal clock that determines when we should be sleeping and when we should be awake. If we ignore these signals from our body, we run the risk of not performing to the best of our abilities.
Several factors effect this natural clock, including artificial light, physical activity and hormones like melatonin.
2. Plan your workouts for better sleep
If you struggle to fall asleep at night and are also hitting the gym later in the day, you may want to consider your workout schedule. It’s possible that all that extra activity late in the day, keeps you awake.
3. Be careful about what you eat before bed
Many foods can cause your stomach to keep you up at night if eaten before bed. Some are obvious, like caffeinated beverages and lots of sugar, but some are less known. Recent studies have linked diets low in fiber and high in saturated fat and sugar to sleeplessness.
4. Don’t nap after dark
In the evening, don’t indulge in a catnap on the couch. You’ll be better served to just go to bed earlier since the nap could interrupt your ability to sleep at bedtime.
5. Think happy thoughts
Worrying in bed is one of the number one reasons people have difficulty sleeping. This happens most often when we try to go to bed too early.
6. Be mindful of your TV watching
The lights from your TV and salacious plot lines could be to blame for restless nights. Create a bedtime routine to signal your brain and body that it’s time to sleep.
7. Avoid the sleep countdown
If you find yourself waking up to calculate how much more sleep you’ll be able to get, you could be fostering sleep anxiety. A quick solution is to get out of bed, clear your head and try again when you start to feel sleepy.
- 1Studies indicate people who binge watch before bedtime report poorer sleep.
- 2Working out later in the evening can cause increased body temperature which can make it difficult to sleep.
- 3Our biological rhythm can be affected by our environments such as being in an office all day. It is important to get sun light during the day when possible to keep the body’s natural wake/sleep cycle.
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