You may not think you need more sleep, but then you notice a few little things. You’re easily irritated at the barista for making you wait a bit for your Americano, or you forgot about your haircut that’s been on your schedule for weeks, or your daydream about Italy in the company meeting turned into a real dream. Maybe you are just feeling tired or lacking focus. Maybe your workouts are taking a toll on you. Maybe you just need a good night of sleep.
There are so many scenarios that can alert us when we need better/more sleep. In Sleep – The Secret Weapon to your Fitness, we shared why sleep is so important. Now, we’ve crafted a list of tips that are scientifically proven to help you achieve more restful sleep. Skim them, read them, ignore them, or try them – it’s up to you.
Find a Routine
- Create a bedtime ritual. So your body knows it’s time to be tired. Take a hot shower, read a book, listen to relaxing music. If you want to watch TV, avoid anything stressful (Like 24 or the news).
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed around the same time every night. Wake up around the same time every morning so that your body’s internal clock will regulate.
- Drink a cup of chamomile tea. “According to researchers, drinking the tea is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative.”
- Avoid your smartphone or laptop at night. The light stimulates your brain and can keep you awake. Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This will keep your circadian rhythms in check.
- Keep your bedroom quiet and dark. Eye covers or ear plugs can be helpful.
- Make sure your bedroom is set to a cool & comfortable temperature. Between 60-67 degrees F is ideal for most.
- Avoid big meals, alcohol and caffeine a few hours before bedtime. But don’t go to bed starving. Your discomfort might keep you up.
Listen to Your Body
- Exercise daily, but try not to exercise too late at night. If you must, do something less intense, like yoga. Working out during the day will increase your level of exhaustion, which will often help you sleep better.
- Try to avoid naps during the day. I know, I know, but you’ll most likely sleep better at night. However sometimes a short power nap can make you feel fresh and alert.
- Keep a notebook nearby. If you think of something, write it down, so it’s not weighing on your mind.
- Manage Stress. Believe it or not, when one thing nags at you – it affects your ability to reach a deep sleep. If you’re still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or find a sleep professional.
Do you have any other sleep hacks? Let us know by emailing us.