1. Create The Perfect Environment for Sleep
The first step to enjoying and having a restful night is creating the perfect environment for the same. First, you’ll need to invest in a comfortable and supportive mattress. This includes a comfortable mattress cover and beddings. Read reviews of mattresses and furniture, be prepared, read complaints about Ashley and excellent reviews for a balanced decision. Next, set the bedroom temperature at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, as this is the optimal temperature for sleep.
2. Have a Sleep Routine
Make a habit of engaging in relaxing activities a few hours before your bedtime. This can be anything from listening to relaxing music, reading a book, take a warm shower, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and even light stretches. Be sure to stick to this ritual every other night until the habit sets in. This way, your body and mind will start to slow down as you approach bedtime and start engaging in these activities. Remember to stick to the routine regardless of the occasion or day of the week.
3. Switch the Lights OFF
Consider switching all the lights (except the night lights) an hour or so before bedtime. Consider dimming all the lights if possible. Doing so reduces your exposure to bright light and especially blue light. This allows the body to produce enough melatonin and other hormones needed to induce and promote sleep. You might also want to switch off the computer, phone, or TV to reduce your exposure to blue light as well. Be sure to switch all the lights OFF and draw the curtains to ensure the bedroom is pitch black while you sleep.
4. Invest in A White-Noise Machine
Unnecessary sounds and noise can be quite disruptive when in REM. One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary chimes and alerts in the middle of the night is to turn your phone to silent mode. If living in a noisy neighbourhood, consider running a fan or investing in a white-noise machine to drown all the other noises. The white noise machine
5. Ditch the Afternoon Caffeine
While the morning cup of coffee might be crucial for most people, you certainly don’t want to have another after lunchtime. Caffeine is a potent stimulant that stays in the bloodstream 6 hours after your last sip. If sleep seems elusive even after ditching the afternoon coffee, you might then want to avoid it altogether. Anything with caffeine in it should be eliminated from your diet plan as well. This includes tea, chocolate, coffee, cola, and certain medications with caffeine in them. Consider other beverages or pure water in place of these.
6. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol is the last thing you want in your system an hour or minutes before bedtime. While it might seem to send you to slumber fast, alcohol is known to disrupt REM through the repeated trips to the bathroom. In addition to this, alcohol triggers increased dehydration which makes sleeping or staying asleep almost impossible.
7. Go Slow on Spicy or Heavy Foods
Spicy foods are known to trigger heartburn, among other digestive issues. Going to bed on a full stomach can also have a similar effect too. For this reason, it would be best to avoid any of these foods and consider having your dinner 3 hours before bedtime.
Sugar has also been linked to restlessness and sleeplessness. According to research, sugar-rich foods might also have an adverse effect on your hormones and hormone regulation. The National Sleep Foundation thus recommends light snacking before bedtime, especially if hungry. Some of the best foods/snacks to have before bedtime include melatonin-rich cherries, bananas, chamomile, peppermint or ginger tea. These teas are rich in magnesium and potassium, compounds that come in handy in promoting muscle relaxation.
Rachel Dixon works on travel and features at Daily Mid Time