Do you feel sluggish in the morning? Are you tossing and turning all night long? If so, you could certainly use some sleep better tips.
2020 has thrown a lot at us, and if your sleep patterns have been disrupted, then you could be feeling groggy and unenergized throughout your whole day.
If you’re feeling this way all day, it might feel like your day just drags on without offering any chance for productivity. Fortunately, there are ways to sleep better so that you can wake up feeling rested and energized.
These sleep better tips will help you rest and start your day feeling alert and motivated.
1. Stick to a Schedule
Going to bed at the same time every night will help you train your mind to relax and get in the pattern of producing sleep hormones when it best serves you.
My two kids go to bed at 9:30 pm every night, 7 days a week. My wife and I follow close behind; she typically goes to bed at about 11 pm, and I go to bed at midnight.
I’m the first to wake up in the morning. My alarm is set to 7:24 am every morning, with the exception of Saturdays.
What I found by sticking to a schedule is that my body has become accustomed to it, and my internal clock has kicked into high gear.
Once you get into a routine, you’ll be more likely to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night. This will allow you to be more focused and alert through your entire day.
2. Pay Attention to What You Eat and Drink
I always knew the basics around this idea. For example, I always knew not to eat a lot of sugar or drink soda before bed, but there is much more to it.
You should do your best not to eat within two hours of going to bed. Spicy and acidic foods should be avoided, too, as they can cause you to have an upset stomach, indigestion, or even heartburn.
Coffee and caffeinated drinks are culprits as well. Avoid drinking these liquids hours before bedtime. In fact, based on a 2013 study, it’s best to avoid caffeine for a minimum of 6 hours before bed.
3. Stay Away From Technology
These days we are glued to our phones more than ever before, but one of the best sleep better tips I can offer is to resist the urge to look at your phone while you’re trying to fall asleep.
Once your head hits the pillow, it is imperative that you don’t expose yourself to direct light because it acts as an alerting signal that will reduce the secretion of your body’s natural hormone melatonin, which is heavily responsible for helping you sleep.
If watching TV or checking your phone has become a habit for you, resisting this urge will help you sleep better because you’ll be cutting down on your consumption of blue light.
Blue light, specifically, happens to have a more severe effect on your sleep cycle as opposed to light omitted from a light bulb.
4. Exercise Earlier
Exercising earlier in your day will help you feel more energized. I used to exercise later in the evening, and this never did serve me well.
I always found that the gym was always busier during the hours of 5pm to 8pm because a lot of people were going to the gym after they were done work for the day.
Not only did my workouts take longer because of how busy the gym was, but by the time I left the gym, I was so energized with adrenaline that it took several hours to become relaxed.
Exercising during the morning or throughout the day is a great better sleep tip if you are able to accommodate those timeframes.
When you exercise, you raise your core body temperature, and you place a mild amount of stress on your central nervous system. Therefore, if you exercise later in the day, it can make it difficult for you to sleep better.
5. Update Your Sleep Environment
The area that you sleep is where you spend a great deal of time. It’s time you spend sleeping, but you spend a lot of time there nonetheless.
Let’s say for example you got on average 5 to 7 hours of sleep per night. When you multiply that by 7 days a week, you spend anywhere from 35 to 49 hours a week in one spot. Now, multiple that by 52 weeks a year. That’s a lot of time spent in your sleep environment.
That’s why it’s important to take a closer look at your pillow, mattress, and blankets. It’s recommended that you replace your pillow every couple of years.
The type of pillow is important, too. Side sleepers and back sleepers generally require different kinds of pillows in order to sleep well and without neck or back pain.
The firmness of your mattress and the softness of your blankets also have an effect on your sleep.
If you are spending roughly 50 hours a week in bed, it’s worthwhile making sure you’re as comfortable as you can be. You can even add a few drops of lavender oil to your pillow as it is known to promote relaxation.
Also, check the temperature of your room. Experts recommend keeping your bedroom around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius) for the most comfortable sleep.
While this is an actionable tip to sleep better, it may not be for everyone.
Prior to 2017, I never knew how meditation even worked. I certainly didn’t think it was going to work for me. To say that I was skeptical to try meditation is an understatement.
One evening, I found a 15 minute audio meditation, plugged in my ear buds, and listened. I listened with my eyes closed and did my best to stay comfortable and relaxed. Then, something unexpected happened: I fell asleep.
In fact, I typically fall asleep every time that I listen to guided meditation, and I can honestly say that I always wake up feeling refreshed, energized, and clear headed.
Meditation can help with sleep, as it helps us settle our thoughts and be more present. Instead of worrying about the critical email our boss sent us this morning or planning out the next day’s big presentation, meditation brings you back to your center, which is a great place to be for better sleep.
7. Hide Your Clock
One of the most effective tips for better sleep is to make it so that you cannot see the current time.
When you are constantly checking the time, it could be causing you to get anxious about how many more hours you have left before you have to get out of bed.
Getting more anxious will only keep you awake longer. Whether you have a digital clock or an analog one, cover up the time.