Getting good quality sleep each night is important for maintaining your optimal health and wellbeing. A good quality night’s rest can help prevent weight gain, depression, sickness due to a lower immune system, and a lack of productivity during the day. The holidays are a tough time for many people to get enough rest. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest this season, check-in with yourself and try out some of these tips to get that good quality sleep that you desperately need. Your body will thank you.
- Exercise two hours or more before bed, but not right before bed - your body won’t have time to calm down and relax after you just ran a few miles or lifted weights, so plan ahead! Getting exercise more than 2 hours before bed will help you sleep better at night because your body is more physically tired. Give it a try!
- Try to set a bedtime routine including times you should be heading to bed and what time to wake up each morning - setting up a bedtime routine is important to let your body know when it’s time for rest and to get a good quality sleep schedule. On the weekends, allow yourself to sleep in a little bit, without sleeping the whole morning away. Setting a routine and sticking to it will help your body know when it’s time to relax, sleep, and recover.
- Herbal or chamomile tea - again, not right before bed, but a few hours beforehand is ideal. You don’t want to drink a lot of tea or water before bed for obvious reasons, but tea can help you relax while you’re going through your bedtime routine.
- Eat 2 hours or more before bed - eating right before you go to sleep can cause stomach aches and can change the way your meal is digested. Don’t let your stomach be the reason you can’t fall asleep and move your dinner earlier in the evening and limit snacking afterward.
- Put your phone away and turn off the TV - you’ve probably heard this one before. The blue light emitting from your cell phone, tablet, and television is harmful to your brain but can also trick your brain into thinking it’s not bedtime, keeping you up past when your body wants to. Put these devices away or turn them off. If you still need something to relax your mind and body before falling asleep, rather than turning on the TV, try reading a book, listening to a podcast or some music to help.
- Don’t consume caffeine late in the day - caffeine after 3 or 4 pm can often cause disruption in your sleep that evening. If you need the afternoon pick-me-up, try a cup of green tea at 2 or 3 pm and then switch to water for the rest of the afternoon. Also, try going for a walk in the afternoon to wake yourself up and reignite the creative spirit you need to finish up the day.
- Reduce long or multiple naps during the day - if you’re a napper, try to limit your naps to 30 minutes or one hour in the middle of the day. Taking a nap in the evening can disrupt your evening and bedtime routine and ultimately prevent you from falling asleep at your normal time.
- Don’t drink a lot of alcohol before bed - if you do have a few drinks, follow it with a few more glasses of water before you head to bed. Alcohol disrupts your sleep and you won’t wake up feeling refreshed because the quality of sleep is much lower with alcohol in your system. You may find you wake up a bit more often in the night as well.
- Make sure the temperature is the perfect mix of cozy and cool - you don’t want to be too warm to too cold while you’re sleeping or else you won’t be able to get that good quality rest you deserve. Turn a fan on for some airflow but add another blanket to the bed just in case you get chilled.
- Relax before bed and make sure your mind is clear - take a shower or bath to relax and make that part of your evening routine. Do some bedtime yoga, do the dishes, whatever it takes for you to feel relaxed and ready for sleep.
- Set up a dehumidifier or humidifier in your room to keep the air crisp or hydrating - just like you don’t want the room to be too cool or too warm, keeping the good air quality in your room can help you get good quality sleep.
- Investing in a good pillow and mattress is crucial - you spend about ⅓ of your life sleeping, so your sheets, mattress, and pillows are a worthwhile investment in your sleep health.
One of the best ways to get a good night’s rest each night is to make sure your bedroom is a quiet and relaxing place. That means different things for everyone, but one way to do this is by dimming the lights in your bedroom while you’re going through your bedtime routine that can help you get relaxed. Sometimes, this means removing all distractions from your room entirely.
Sleep is very important and a lack of sleep can negatively impact every other part of your life. A lack of sleep makes your body more susceptible to catching a cold or a stronger illness, especially in the winter months. Keep your body and your brain healthy by getting good quality sleep each night. What helps you get good quality rest?
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