Doctors recommend that the average healthy adult should get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. How do you measure up? If you’re struggling to get to sleep or suffer from poor quality of sleep, follow these simple steps to get your sleep back on track.
1. Keep To A Regular Routine
Waking up and going to bed at the same time each day is essential to getting quality sleep. That means avoiding activities that can throw off your internal clock, like sleeping in or taking long daytime naps. A regular routine will train your body to naturally ease into sleep at the right time each night. Consistent exercise and exposure to sunlight during the day will also make it easier to fall asleep at night.
2. Watch What You Eat
Don’t consume large or heavy meals late in the evening, or the discomfort might keep you from nodding off. Watch out especially for unhealthy foods like sugar and refined carbs, which can lead to unpleasant symptoms like bloating, fatigue, and depressed or anxious mood. Also try to limit your intake of caffeine or alcohol late in the day, as these substances can stay in your system for hours and adversely affect the quality of your sleep. This includes coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
3. Make Your Bed A Safe Harbor
Set yourself up for success by creating the perfect environmental conditions for a good night of solid sleep. Keep your bedroom peacefully quiet, dark, and at a slightly cooler temperature. You can also maximize comfort by choosing a mattress with good support, a pillow that flatters your sleep style, and comfortable bedding. To cut out environmental distractions like city noise, put on a pair of earplugs or headphones, or invest in a white noise machine. You can also limit your exposure to excess light by using blackout curtains.
4. Take Care Of Your Headspace
Mental health is strongly linked with physical health, and sleep issues can often be psychological in origin. Try to clear your head before bed for the best sleep results. Keep electronics like smartphones and tablets out of bed, and definitely don’t bring your work with you to bed. Instead, cultivate calm by practicing relaxing activities like meditation, light reading, or listening to soft music before bed. Mild physical exercises like yoga, controlled breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can also be useful and soothing.
5. Try Natural Remedies
There’s no going wrong with natural remedies like aromatherapy or essential oils to help you slide right into sleep. Fill your bedroom with the gentle aroma of lavender, or drink a cup of chamomile tea before bed to help combat insomnia. Gingko Biloba, valerian root, and passionflower are also natural ways to improve the quality of your sleep. These herbal solutions are nature’s answer to troubled sleep but don’t hesitate to seek additional help if you need it. If your sleep problems persist or seriously disrupt your quality of life, it may be time to consult a doctor.