How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
A good night’s sleep is something we all look forward to after a long day. After all, getting the proper amount of rest is our way of recharging. Unfortunately, many people struggle to fall and stay asleep. If you find yourself counting sheep more than you’d like — you’re not alone. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than a third of us don’t get enough shut-eye. The struggle is real. And it’s really no surprise. Shutting down at the end of a busy day is no easy task.
But we’re here to help.
There are several things you can do to proactively improve your sleep habits — and make a big difference in your quality of life. Here’s how to get the quality dream time your mind and body need.
Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting the proper amount of sleep is critical to your emotional wellbeing and physical health. Before we get into how to get a better night’s sleep, let’s take a look at why it’s so important to get a good night’s sleep.
A better night’s sleep can:
- Reduce stress
- Improve your mood
- Help you think more clearly
- Lower your blood pressure
- Helps you maintain your weight
- Improve your memory
- Keep you strong
- Improve your productivity
- Keep your heart healthy
Long story short, when you sleep better, you live better!
10 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
Now that you know some of the benefits of getting the proper amount of rest, we've got some tips to help you get some proper shuteye:
Stick to a schedule
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Yes — even on the weekends! Sticking to a schedule can regulate your body’s clock, so it knows when it's time for bed.
Find a relaxing routine
Practicing a soothing routine right before bedtime helps you separate your go-to-sleep time from your get-stuff-done time. Yoga, meditation, a good book, even a warm bath — they can all help you find your sleepy place.
Listen to a guided sleep meditation
Does a racing mind keep you up at night? It’s common to get caught up in thoughts at bedtime. A guided sleep meditation can help your mind relax and focus on the present — which can help you naturally fall asleep. Guided sleep meditation employs a number of techniques to help you fall asleep, from breathing exercises and counting, to visualizations and mindful body scanning. There are plenty of free options on YouTube, or you can download an app like Calm or Headspace.
Get some exercise
Regular exercise reduces anxiety and tires you out. And, it raises your body temperature. When that temp drops back down, sleepiness is triggered. So get your workout in to get some sleep.
Avoid caffeine late in the day
Sure, that cup of coffee may be what gets you through the afternoon lull, but it could also be what keeps you from relaxing at night, resulting in trouble sleeping. Challenge yourself to quit the caffeine around 2 pm. If you’re really struggling for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, get up and go for a walk, and try drinking a full glass of water or herbal tea instead.
Create a sleep-friendly bedroom
Where you sleep has a big impact on how you sleep. Keep your bedroom cool — experts suggest between 60 and 67 degrees. And make sure your room is free from unwelcome noise and light. Blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, white noise machines and fans can all help make your room super sleep-friendly.
Your mattress matters
A comfortable, supportive mattress (and pillows) can make all the difference. A good mattress should last about ten years. Any older than that and it’s probably time for a new one.
Watch what you eat
Big meals, especially the spicy ones, can cause indigestion and make sleeping a challenge. The best approach is to avoid large meals for two to three hours before bedtime.
Turn off the technology
Your phone, laptop and tablet might seem like perfect beside companions, but they make it really hard to fall asleep because they keep your brain on high alert. Blue light emitted by your smartphone and computers, tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. The best practice is to shut off your devices at least two hours before bedtime. At the very least, you can install an app on your devices or wear glasses that block blue light.
Talk to a pro
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get the sleep you so desperately need, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or a sleep professional. They’ll work with you to find personalized tools and techniques that work for you.
The bottom line? Sleep plays an important role in your overall health. If you’re struggling to get the z’s you need, our tips should help get you to dreamland quicker.