How many times have you laid awake at night wishing you could switch your brain off and go straight to sleep? Do you wake up multiple times through the night and find yourself yawning and reaching for the coffee in the morning? Sleep disturbances can impact every part of your day, making it hard to get through the simplest tasks.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are several things you can do to help. Read on to learn how to sleep soundly and feel better rested in the morning.
Get Outside More
You might be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to make sure you sleep better is to get outside more during the day. Our bodies operate off of a series of internal cues called a circadian rhythm. This is what tells us it’s time to wake up and go to sleep, among other things.
Your circadian rhythm is affected by the level and quality of the light around you. Bright light and blue light tell your brain it’s time to wake up, while softer, yellower light signals that it’s time to go to sleep. Increasing your exposure to bright light during the day can help strengthen your brain’s circadian rhythms, making it easier to stay asleep once it’s dark.
Work Out Regularly
Going for a walk or jog during the day can help you kill two birds with one stone. Not only will you be getting your sunlight exposure, but you’ll also be getting some exercise. Regular exercise during the day can help you sleep better at night.
Having a regular exercise routine can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The only catch is that you should never work out too close to bedtime. Exercise generates adrenaline and epinephrine, hormones that signal your body that it’s time to be alert and wakeful.
Avoid Eating and Drinking Before Bed
For many of us, it may not be uncommon to have a midnight snack or a night cap before you go to bed. And while it can be nice to go to sleep with a full belly and a warm body, this can actually disturb your sleep. Ideally, you should avoid eating or drinking anything in the hours before bed.
Although alcohol can help you go to sleep faster, it tends to disrupt REM sleep, which is when you get the rest you really need. Likewise, eating right before bed can disrupt your body’s production of HGH and melatonin, both hormones important to getting good rest.
Drinking things like water or warm milk right before bed can leave you waking up in the middle of the night to relieve yourself.
Set Up a Bedtime Routine
The process of getting to sleep is essentially a series of steps convincing your brain that it’s time to shut down and go to sleep for the night.
If you start this process when you get into bed, you’re going to have a harder time falling asleep quickly. But if you start signaling your brain that it’s bedtime an hour or so before you’re trying to go to sleep, you’ll be able to fall asleep much faster and sleep much better.
Set up a bedtime routine that you follow every night before you go to sleep. Meditation, a warm bath or shower, and journaling can all be good parts of your routine. Doing some simple tasks like clearing out the kitchen sink or laying out your clothes for the next day can also help to remove some worries from your mind and make it easier to fall asleep.
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
If you want to get the most out of your bedtime routine, it’s important to follow it at the same time every day. Remember, your body operates off of circadian rhythms that shift at the same time every day. Switching up your sleep schedule all the time can leave you working against those rhythms rather than with them.
Make it a point to start your bedtime routine and get into bed at the same time every night. Also set an alarm to wake up at the same time every morning – even on the weekends. This will help your circadian rhythms solidify and will send stronger signals to your brain that it’s time to be asleep – not planning your to-do list for the next day.
Practice Sleep Hygiene
Raise your hand if you’ve ever laid in bed and scrolled through social media or checked email before you went to sleep or when you woke up in the morning. Now that everyone has their hands up, we can admit we’ve all done it. But this is one of the worst things you can do if you’re trying to sleep soundly.
It’s crucial to make sure that you maintain sleep hygiene – keeping your bed a space only used for sleep and intimate time with your partner. Practicing good sleep hygiene can help signal your brain that when you get in bed, it’s time to go to sleep. This means you should never read, check emails, scroll social media, or do anything else in bed.
Get Better Bedding
Of course, it should come as no surprise that better bedding can help you sleep better. It’s hard to sleep through the night if you’re waking up with sore joints or an aching back. Getting into bed every night should feel like a treat.
Start by getting a mattress that’s comfortable for you (and replacing that mattress every decade or so). Then add pillows that support your neck and provide the right balance of support and squish. Top it all off with two sets of sheets and comforters – one to keep you cool in summer, one to keep you warm in the winter, and both as soft as a dream.
Learn How to Sleep Soundly
There’s not much that's as frustrating as lying in bed trying to go to sleep or waking up a dozen times throughout the night. But following these tips will help you make sure you sleep soundly. Set up a routine, get plenty of exercise, and practice good sleep hygiene and you’ll wake up more well-rested and ready to tackle the day every morning.
If you’d like to create the best bed possible for yourself, check out the rest of our site at Nest Bedding. We specialize in luxury mattresses and bedding designed to make your every night as restful as possible. Shop our mattresses and start dreaming of better sleep today.