Getting the right amount of shut-eye doesn’t just help you perform at your best each day. Sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and regulating your moods, not to mention keeping your skin looking great (hello, beauty rest!).
Not getting your 8 hours? These 5 tips for improving the quality of your sleep will have you hitting the hay – and snoozing soundly – in no time.
- Create a relaxing sleeping environment
Transform your bedroom into a calm oasis that encourages rest and relaxation. An atmosphere that promotes sleep should be dark, quiet and a comfortable temperature.
Use blackout curtains or an eye mask to reduce light, and block out any outside noise with soundproof walls, a white noise machine or earplugs. A room that is too hot or too cold can disturb your sleep. Consider air conditioning, bed cooling system, a heater or a fan to achieve your desired temperature.
Make your bed a comfortable resting place you can’t wait to come home to with luxurious products. Partnering with a pet or partner that makes you overheat? Look into remedies to make your bed cooler.
Your bedroom should be used only to sleep – no TV or electronics allowed!
- Kick the caffeine
That 4pm cup or can that gets you over the finish line each afternoon may be keeping you up at night. Caffeine stays in the body for up to 4-6 hours and can be found in:
- Energy drinks.
If your afternoon beverage or snack is affecting your quality of sleep, it may be time to make the cut.
Can’t live without your coffee? Limit yourself to morning brews only, or at least kick the caffeine by early afternoon to ensure you’re not over-stimulated come bedtime.
- Establish a pre-sleep routine
Prepare your mind for sleep with a relaxing routine before bedtime. Peaceful activities such as reading or listening to quiet music help to calm the mind, while activities such as working or exercising increase stress levels and make it more difficult to fall asleep. You might like to:
- Read a book
- Listen to soothing music
- Perform relaxation exercises
- Watch TV
- Write in a journal.
Begin your routine at least an hour before you go to sleep to avoid being kept awake by a busy, racing mind.
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
Keep your body clock in check by going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. A consistent sleep routine will eventually synchronize with your body clock, resulting in restful sleep that suits your lifestyle.
Even if you have a long night, try to wake up at your usual time the next morning. This is the best way to keep your body clock regulated and maintain an effective sleep schedule.
- Avoid eating right before bedtime
Going to bed with a bellyful of Chinese takeout can lead to an interrupted sleep. Eat your dinner several hours before you go to sleep, and avoid any foods that cause indigestion and discomfort.
If you get hungry before bedtime, snack on foods that don’t upset your tummy. This could be a glass of milk, a banana or a bowl of wheat cereal, depending on your dietary requirements.
Follow these helpful tips and wake up on the right side of the bed every day.
Claudia is a Content Executive who lives in sunny Queensland. Writer by day and runner by night, she spends most of her time reading crime fiction and dreaming of European getaways.