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How to Make the Most of Your Sleep: 10 Step-by-Step Tips

roommates enjoying tea in pajamas on couch

roommates enjoying tea in pajamas on couch

Good rest begins long before you fall asleep. How you use the few hours before bedtime can make or break how you sleep. You can ensure effective, refreshing rest by making sure to prepare for rest correctly.

After all, sleep is about quality just as much as it is about quantity. And Nest Bedding is here to help you improve the quality of your sleep. In the first place, it is essential to remember that physical, mental, and emotional issues all make a difference in your sleep. It is vital to care for yourself in each of these categories before bedtime so you can relax and enjoy deep, uninterrupted rest every night. Here are a few ways to prepare for sleep before you hit the pillow.

Things To Do 2-4 Hours Before You Go To Sleep

1. Stay hydrated. Thirst can keep you from resting well. But many people avoid staying hydrated because they are understandably afraid of having to get up in the middle of the night. The key is to drink water early enough that your body will have time to process the liquid before bed, but late enough that thirst will not keep you awake all night. Drink water around three hours before bedtime to ensure hydration.

2. Avoid eating heavy foods. When your digestive system is working hard to process a lot of heavy food, that takes away your ability to sleep because digestion draws all your blood away from your brain and to your stomach. Thus, whenever possible, avoid eating dense food (or eating at all) for at least a couple hours before bedtime. Sure, midnight snacks are fun, but proper rest is more important.

3. Clear your mind of work-related problems. Stress is one of the biggest sleep thieves out there. Your mental state has a lot to do with how you rest. Thus, it is important to leave work at work and let home be a place for rest and recovery. Sometimes this is not always immediately possible. But it is essential to let your mind rest from work before you sleep. Thus, make sure that whatever is stressing you out about work gets left behind as bedtime approaches.

4. Resolve any relational conflict. Your emotional state hugely impacts how you sleep. If you have relational conflict weighing on you, big or small, it will be much harder to rest well. As far as possible, resolve conflict. Of course, much conflict cannot be resolved in one day. But if you do your part and take the first step toward reconciliation (especially toward the people in your immediate household), you will be able to sleep far better.

5. Spend time with your family. Family time is crucial for mental and emotional health. Relaxing with a spouse, children, pets, or roommates allows you to de-stress and focus on the positive. That, in turn, will prepare your body and your mind for excellent rest. Go for a walk, watch a movie, snuggle, have playtime, create art together, or spend time talking. This will help you rest more than you realize.

Things To Do 1-2 Hours Before You Go To Sleep

1. Avoid drinking any liquidThe reason for this is apparent — no one likes getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom! If you have had plenty of water during the day, you should stay well hydrated and free from thirst even at night. 

2. Turn off the screens. It is one of the hardest things to do. Most people have formed a habit of staring at a phone, TV, or computer right up until they try to fall asleep. But the light these screens emit wakes up your brain like nothing else. After looking at a screen, the last thing you will be ready to do is sleep. By turning off screens at least an hour before bed, you will ensure your brain has time to wind down after experiencing so much stimulation from displays throughout the day.

3. Take time to reflect on the day with a journal. Journaling (or calm verbal reflection) is one of the best ways to prepare both your mind and body for rest. Settle down in a comfortable place and allow yourself to think over the day calmly. Dwell on the right parts — the sunshine, the smile of your child, the encouraging words from a professor or manager, the coffee date with your best friend. Scratch down notes in a journal. It allows you to do something away from a screen and gives your day closure.

4. Take time to focus your mind, meditate, or do calming exercises like yoga. A busy mind is one of the biggest reasons many people cannot sleep. An active mind can be a good thing during the day, but at bedtime, it is an enemy. Only when your mind is relatively empty are you ready to fall into a deep, refreshing sleep. After you get ready for bed, it is a good idea to spend just a few moments centering your mind, using whatever technique you find most helpful.

5. Tidy your room and arrange your bedding for optimum rest. You will always rest better in a clean space. You do not have to do a deep clean every day, but make sure your floorspace is tidy, and your room is fresh and airy. Also, your mind and your body will feel more rested and ready to sleep if your bedding is arranged comfortably and appealingly. The way your bed looks and feels should make you want to go to sleep! 

Bonus Tip

Believe it or not, your bedding has a lot to do with how you sleep. And that is where Nest Bedding comes in. We are committed to helping you sleep better than you ever have before. We understand excellent rest is crucial for health, both mental and physical. And that is why we work hard to create bedding that will allow you to enjoy the best sleep of your life. If you have any questions or would like to know which bedding is best for you, please contact us! We are here to help.