How To Get Better Sleep At Night
Sleep has been eluding us for far too long. Americans pride ourselves on our productivity. We go and go all day long, making decisions, doing chores, and running errands. As our lifestyle pace has increased, we’ve seen a drop in the quality of our sleep. Sleep is one of the most vital parts of our health. Here are a few helpful ways to improve your night’s sleep:
- Increase Light Exposure While Awake: The chemicals in your brain tell you when it’s time to be awake, and when it’s time to rest. The more light you are exposed to, the better your brain can communicate what time of day it is. Open up the windows, take a walk outside, have lights on in the house, etc. While you are awake, expose yourself to as much light as possible. This will help your brain recognize the difference when it becomes dark. At night, lessen your light exposure. Keep things dim, close the blinds, and cover up any lights in the bedroom.
- No Electronics 1 Hour Before Bed: Avoiding electronics at night goes along with reducing your light exposure at night. TVs and smartphones have a blue light shine that doesn’t adequately allow your brain to make the right amount of melatonin to help put you to sleep. Take a break from the electronics to let your mind become tired and recognize that it’s time for bed.
- Avoid Drinks 1 Hour Before Bed: It’s annoying to have to constantly get up throughout the night to go to the bathroom. You should drink ample amounts of water throughout the day, but you don’t want to be up and down all night. To keep this in check, try to have all of your water intake for the day 1 hour before heading to bed.
- Wake and Sleep at Consistent Hours: As much as possible, it’s best to keep the same waking and sleeping hours. Our circadian rhythm will take over and let us know that our body is ready for rest or ready for action at the same hours. Have you ever woken up minutes before your alarm clock? That’s your circadian rhythm at work. It’s an internal time clock that tells us what time of day it is. Sometimes our work schedule can be crazy, and we have to alter our sleep pattern. As much as you can help it, aim to wake and sleep at the same hours. We are creatures of habit. The more consistent we are with waking and sleeping hours, the better quality of sleep we will get.
- Relax Your Mind: As you put down the phone at night, try doing something else to relax your mind until you are ready to sleep. Pick up a book and read a chapter. Write in a journal, take a bath, or do a few relaxing stretches. You can even meditate to help your mind stop going 100 miles per hour. The goal is to quiet your brain, and do something that you enjoy.
You’ll wake up refreshed, clear headed, and ready to take on the day. You’ll also find that you have more energy throughout the day. We need sleep to repair our bodies and give our brains a chance to reboot. Don’t ignore your sleep habits.