After a whole day of being exhausted at work, all I want is my bed. But when I finally get tucked between the sheets, I feel wired and restless? Are you like me and toss and turn for hours on end with no sleep in sight? Perhaps this unbalance is caused by easy-to-change habits.
The fact is we have all searched for tips and tricks to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, but with millions of web pages promising you a good night’s sleep, what actually works?
Follow along as I list the most effective lifestyle changes that can, and will positively improve your quality of sleep. They worked for me!
Prepare for Sleep an Hour Before Bedtime
Winding down or switching off after a long day, for many people can be hard, even harder if you don’t properly ease into it. I usually try sitting in a quiet, dark room for an hour to prepare my body for a long night’s sleep. When I am away from lights, phones, and televisions, my body can naturally slow down.
I gently close my eyes, and take a few deep breaths, and meditate on all the day’s accomplishments and put my day to rest. Alternatively, I recommend putting check marks on your day’s to-do-list as it can be another great way to create a sense of closure so you start fresh the next day.
If your day was less productive than usual, refrain from harping on lost time and focus on the positives. This way your body can mentally and physically calm down, making sleep come faster.
Reading and Writing
There is nothing like a good book before bed to make you forget about all the ups and downs of the day. I typically carve out 30 minutes out of my night-time routine to drift away into my favourite story.
However, in my experience, not all books will promote sleep. Avoid action, mystery and horror genres as they may over stimulate you before sleep. Perhaps a dense read like Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway” or Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth” can ease the mind into sleep mode. I always write notes in the margins for both reference and therapeutic purposes. Jotting your thoughts down can soften the edge of anxiety, helping you to sleep better.
Non-caffeinated hot beverages are an excellent remedy for sleeplessness. Herbal teas, hot lemon water, and a warm glass of milk are all prescriptions for a better night’s sleep. Make sure there is no sugar added, as you may find yourself more tired than before.
Studies have shown that cooler rooms promote sleep much faster than warm rooms. As night sweats are uncomfortable, try and keep your room to a cool 19 degrees Celsius or lower to avoid overheating throughout the night. In the summer, dress your bed with moisture-wicking cotton or cotton/polyester blend sheets.
These simple steps can easily make a world of difference to the quality of your sleep. Little tweaks to your nighttime routine can slowly draw your day to a close, making sleep come easily. Separating your day routine from your evening routine with a short nap, or a few minutes of reflection to help you switch gears will certainly promote a more restful sleep.
Angela, Your Sleep Expert