Whether you’re sick or stressed, a natural way to help reboot your body is to get a good night’s rest. For a lot of people, however, this is easier said than done. It’s not as simple as investing in a super comfy mattress. Some suffer from not being able to fall asleep. Others wake up in the middle of the night and then can’t get back to bed. Still, others get a full night of sleep, but wake up feeling like they only slept two hours. If you suffer from any of these sleep issues, here are five easy tips to follow to ensure a perfect night’s sleep.
Tip #1: Have a Regular Sleep Schedule
If you develop a habit of going to bed around the same time every day and waking up around the same time every day, you will sync your body to a natural circadian (sleep/wake) cycle. When your body gets to sleep around the same time every day, you will feel more rested and energised when you wake up the next day.
- If you didn’t follow your regular sleep schedule, nap during the day to make up for the sleep you lost. Make sure to nap in the early afternoon (after lunch) and only nap for thirty minutes.
- Don’t fall asleep after dinner. If you start feeling drowsy, don’t sit in front of the TV or computer. Instead, do something mildly active like chores, talking to someone on the phone or getting your clothes and bag ready for tomorrow.
Tip #2: Embrace Light During the Day, Avoid Light at Night
Your body has a naturally occurring hormone called melatonin that regulates your circadian rhythm. Melatonin is produced by exposure to light. When there is less light, your body makes more melatonin, making you sleepy. When there is more light, your body slows down production, making you more alert.
- In the morning, don’t wear sunglasses and let sunlight on your face.
- Take breaks from the office and spend time out in the daylight.
- Keep the curtains or blinds open during the day to let in natural sunlight.
- Lower the amount of time you sit in front of the TV or computer at night. The light from these may reduce melatonin production.
- Use lightbulbs with low wattage.
- When you sleep, the darker the room, the better. If you have to, sleep with an eye mask.
Tip #3: Create a Relaxing Space
- Make your bed comfortable. Your mattress and pillows shouldn’t hinder you from getting a good night’s rest. If you are waking up with a sore neck or back, it might be time to invest in a new mattress or pillows.
- Drown out the noise. If it’s impossible to drown out the noise outside, try to listen to relaxing music or natural sounds. In extreme cases, use earplugs.
- Keep your room at around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Research has shown that most people get the best sleep at this temperature. Play around with what works best for you and make sure to keep your room well-ventilated.
Tip #4: Use Your Bed for Sleep and Sex Only
Train your mind and body to associate your bed with sleep and sex by only using your bed for such activities. When you work in bed, your body will associate being in bed with work, and it will be harder for you to relax and fall asleep. Train your body to have a Pavlovian response, such that when you hit the sack, you’ll be ready to sleep or get intimate.
Tip #5: Make Relaxing Before Bed a Ritual
- Read by a soft a light.
- Indulge in a warm bath.
- Listen to soft, relaxing music.
- Do some easy yoga poses.
- Prepare for the next day.
- Practice deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation or mindful meditation.