Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t have to be hard. There are small measures you can take nightly to ensure you wake rested, refreshed, and relax. Check out these six easy habits to improve your sleep.
1. Limit naps
A little extra sleep doesn’t hurt, unless your naps are too long and/or too close to bedtime. Limit naps to no more than an hour. Avoid napping past 5 o’clock as it will make it harder to fall asleep at night since your body already feels rested.
2. Shower before bed
Showering before bed will lead to improved sleep. Your body temperature decreases during sleep, so lowering it before bed will help improve sleep. Taking a hot shower and then allowing your body to adjust to the cooler air helps to lower your internal body temperature. Ideally, you should shower about 90 minutes before you plan on going to sleep.
3. Watch what you eat before bed
Eating too close to bedtime definitely affects your sleep. Certain types of food affect sleep differently than others. Eating late at night, especially sugary foods, can increase your blood sugar, causing a sugar rush that makes it seemingly impossible to fall asleep. Foods with magnesium actually help you achieve a deeper sleep, but make sure your last meal is at least an hour before bed.
4. Workout in the morning
Working out before bed increases your body temperature and heart rate, two things that make it difficult to fall asleep. However, exercise before bed affects everyone differently. For some people, exhaustion from exercise before bed actually helps them sleep better. You know your body best, so avoid workout three hours or closer to bedtime if you find your sleep is negatively affected. Overall, people who exercise sleep better than those who don’t.
5. Turn on night mode
Blue light is emitted from screens on laptops, tablets, and phones. The shorter wavelengths in this type of light causes the body to produce less melatonin, a chemical that is important for sleep. Try reading or writing before bed instead, or turn on night mode to limit the amount of blue light emitted.
6. Avoid alcohol before bed
It’s easy to brush aside alcohol as having an impact on your sleep. In fact, consuming beer, wine, or liquor before bed can actually help you to fall asleep. However, alcohol three hours before bed or later will lead to disruptions during the night, and you’ll find it hard to fall asleep. Certain types of grapes contain melatonin, so indulging in a glass of wine before bed won’t necessarily disrupt sleep that much. The more alcohol you consume, the hardest it is to stay asleep at night. If your idea of a Friday night is having drinks with friends, start early and end with some mocktails to avoid a restless sleep. Besides, who doesn’t love happy hour deals?