Sleep is often undervalued. People like to brag about how they get by on four or six hours a night, and the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is often thrown around.
Sleep is critical, though, like it or not. Getting the right amount helps you stay healthy, focused, and productive, and it boosts your morning energy levels. Many people struggle to have a restful night even if they understand the importance of sleep and how it affects the quality of their lives.
This guide covers essential tips for better sleep. Are you frustrated with insomnia and restless nights and wondering how to sleep better? Check out these ideas and get on the path to a better night’s rest.
Tips for Better Sleep
Some of these ideas are common sense, but they can do a lot to help you sleep better. Try the ones that seem logical to you, or combat insomnia fully by doing them all.
1. Stick to a Schedule
Your body likes patterns, and a consistent sleep schedule reinforces your sleeping and waking cycles. Aim for going to bed and waking up about the same time every day, and try not to let your plan vary by more than an hour, even on the weekends.
2. Establish Healthy Eating and Drinking Habits
The fuel you put in your body directly impacts your quality of life and how well you sleep at night. Try to avoid heavy meals before bed, but don’t go to sleep hungry. Remember that both nicotine and caffeine are stimulants, and they can disrupt your ability to sleep well. Avoid these substances altogether, or at least limit their intake before bed. Alcohol seems like it helps you get to sleep, but it disrupts sleep during the night and works against your getting into the deep sleep you need for morning energy.
3. Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment
Avoid eating, working, or watching TV in bed, and if possible, reserve your bedroom primarily for sleeping. Set up your bedroom at home to be a relaxing oasis. Make sure your bed is cozy and inviting. Don’t hesitate to invest in a new mattress or more comfortable bedding as needed — these expenses are an investment in your long-term health. Look for any issues that may prevent you from falling asleep, keep you up at night, or wake you up too early, and take steps to mitigate them. Hang blackout curtains, for example, if your room has too much light pollution or you need to sleep after sunrise. Consider a white noise machine if your room is noisy.
4. Be Active
Jumping around doesn’t seem like a path to better sleep, but exercise is critical if you want to sleep well at night. An exercise routine can have an immediate effect on your quality of sleep. People who engage in at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity are likely to see a difference that very night. That’s one of the reasons exercising often tops the list of tips for better sleep.
5. Put Your Worries on Paper
Most people struggle to get to sleep if they’re worried about what will happen the next day. Take some time to resolve those worries before you go to bed. Making to-do lists or jotting down your concerns can help reduce your stress levels.
6. Get Outside and Increase Bright Light Exposure
Your body’s circadian rhythms are directly affected by light. Exposing your body to natural sunlight or even artificial light-therapy boxes can help you develop better sleep patterns. Bright light exposure reduces the time it takes people with insomnia to fall asleep by 83%. You can enhance this process by limiting light exposure before bed, and in particular, by staying away from the blue lights emitted by screens. You can use special glasses or an app that blocks blue lights if you don’t want to avoid screens completely.
7. Create a Soothing Bedtime Routine
Bedtime routines aren’t just for kids; they can benefit adults as well. Tell your body it’s time to go to bed by going through a soothing bedtime routine. Doing the same thing every night helps you relax, and it also separates daytime and nighttime activities, signaling to your body that it’s time to wind down. Your bedtime routine might include taking a bath, drinking a cup of non caffeinated tea, and reading a library book. You may want to meditate, have a light snack, or listen to music. Journaling or writing down your stresses, as indicated above, are also great activities to add to your routine.
8. Try a Melatonin Supplement
Melatonin is the hormone your body creates to help it get to sleep, and any steps you take to improve your circadian rhythms will increase your melatonin production. You may want to take a supplement to speed up this process or help you get to sleep in unusual situations, such as when you’re traveling. These supplements don’t just help you get to sleep, though. They also help you sleep more soundly, and they lead to more energy during the day.
9. Set the Optimal Temperature
The temperature in your room can affect your ability to sleep better, even more than noise levels. The optimal temperature for sleeping is usually about 65 degrees Fahrenheit, but this can vary depending on your personal preferences.
10. Get Help if Needed
Tips on how to sleep better are designed for people without serious health problems impairing their ability to sleep. People who don’t sleep better after implementing these tips may want to reach out for professional help. Your doctor can diagnose if you have a sleep problem, and they can help you explore remedies to help you sleep better.
Implement these tips for better sleep, and you should notice a difference. You will get to sleep faster and wake up less frequently during the night. You should also feel more energized and ready to go when you wake up in the morning.
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Sleep is just one piece of the total wellness approach that holds benefits for many people. We provide a positive environment with several amenities designed to improve the health of our residents. Our locations throughout the D.C. area offer personal training and nutrition programs, among many other touches designed to enhance your urban lifestyle.
Ready to sleep better in a new environment? Contact our team today to speak with a leasing expert about our unique selection of stylish rentals in exceptional locations throughout Washington, D.C., and Maryland.