Perfect Environment for Sleep
Sleep is something that we spend a huge portion of our lives doing, and it’s so important for our body to function normally. Getting the best night’s sleep should be the top priority for any adult, but yet — everything else always gets in the way.
Sleeping soundly may sound like it’s an impossible task for you, with whatever else you have going on, but realistically it’s totally possible — if you know what to do. Here are my top 8 ways to create the perfect environment for sleep.
1. Limit Caffeine
If we don’t get the perfect amount of sleep, we end up being woozy and groggy the next morning. Because we have stressful schedules with a lot on our plates, if we feel tired, we find ourselves adding caffeine to our diets to get through the day.
The ironic thing is that the more caffeine you ingest, the harder it is to go to sleep each night, and the groggier you feel the following morning. By limiting your caffeine intake, you can fall asleep more easily at night, and stop the cycle of feeling unrested.
2. Don’t Drink too Heavily
Many people think that by drinking an alcoholic beverage before bed, they will be more relaxed and fall asleep more easily. Although the relaxation part may be true, a lot of people don’t realise that alcohol creates a false slumber.
The more intoxicated you get, the more of a chance that you’ll wake up in the middle of the night night unable to fall back asleep, or feel worse the following morning. Additionally, alcohol dehydrates you, so the more you drink the more you wake up in the middle of the night feeling thirsty, and needing to get up for a glass of water.
3. Watch Binge Eating
We all know the joy of eating a ridiculously large meal around the holidays and taking an afternoon nap with a full belly. Although it seems like eating the largest dinner possible and a ton of snacks before bed is a good idea, it actually leads to acid reflux and heartburn, which can keep you up all night.
Limit your eating, and try to cut off heavy eating several hours before bed. If you have to snack, pick something with the substance tryptophan, which turns into melatonin and helps us sleep. Good snacking options are a glass of milk, a handful of almonds, or a few pieces of turkey.
4. Stick to a Schedule
If you normally go to bed every night around 10, and wake up every morning around 6, your body gets used to that pattern. You may have noticed that if you follow a schedule, your body wakes up at the exact same time each morning, whether or not you set the alarm. If you switch up your sleep schedule often, your body has no idea that you’re trying to go to bed. Hit the sheets every single night within the same 30 minute window, and you’ll be dozing off as soon as your head hits the pillow.
5. Make Bedroom a Luxurious Environment
Have you ever played those video games where you decorate the character’s homes, and if they don’t like a room they pout and cry, and you lose points? The same is true with you, in your own space, whether you realize it or not. If your bedroom smells, needs cleaning, is dusty, or has paint peeling off the walls, the chances are less likely that you’ll feel relaxed and ready for slumber.
You may look around and think of things you have to do as you try to doze off. But if you paint the walls a serene color, and accessorize with artwork or decorations that make you feel peaceful and happy, you’ll feel nothing but bliss in your space.
6. Own a High Quality Mattress
The most important part of your bedroom being a restful environment is your mattress. You spend over one-third of your lifetime in your bed, so it needs to be high quality and the right fit for you. This is one of the most important purchases you can make, so be sure to read reviews from sites like The Sleep Advisor. A mattress that’s poor quality or the incorrect firmness for you will leave you feeling more unrested after sleep then you did before.
7. Try Yoga, Meditation, or Relaxation
If you’re still having trouble snoozing, you can try something that brings you peace. It may be exercise or some kind of athletic activity, but for many it’s yoga, meditation, or relaxation exercises. Try a yoga class or online video if you haven’t already.
You may find that it teaches you how to listen to your own breathing and pay attention to your body, which is a tremendous help in falling asleep. Another trick is to try to tense and un-tense each of your muscles, one at a time, as you’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep.
8. Don’t Do Anything too Stressful Before Bed
Finally, as important as feeling relaxed is, not feeling stressed is equally as important. Try not to do anything before bed that might make you worried or anxious, such as paying bills, reading legal documents, or catching up on the news.
Try to cut off chores and not look at your to-do list past a certain point in the evening. And although it may seem relaxing to watch TV or read a book before bed, try to limit your choices to comedy, and reduce the glare from electrical devices — as that can also limit your ability to fall asleep.
By integrating these simple tips into your schedule, you’ll be sleeping soundly in no time at all!