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Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night, as you try to fall asleep? Or do you wake frequently during the night and feel tired during the day? Like many people, you may not be getting the quality sleep you need to feel rested and energetic during the day.
Sound sleep can help you to maintain good physical health and mental function. However, in today’s hectic world, deep, refreshing sleep is often difficult to achieve. Research has found that you can take several proactive steps to help you improve your sleep patterns during the night.
1 – Be Aware That What You Eat and Drink Can Affect Your Sleep
Schedule a cut-off point for your last cup of coffee or cola drink for the day and stick to it. Similarly, food can also have a stimulating effect that keeps you up when you should be sleeping. A heavy meal, late in the day, can result in physical discomfort that keeps you awake.
You should avoid snacking late in the evening, but hunger can also keep you from falling asleep quickly and staying asleep. If you need a snack, have something high in protein, such as a few nuts or some cottage cheese.
2 – Create A Regular Sleep Schedule
Set a regular sleep schedule that provides that amount of rest your body needs to feel energized and productive during the day. Some people require a full eight hours, while other people can do quite well with six hours of sleep each night.
Try to stay on this schedule as much as possible. Avoid long naps during the day that can disrupt your normal sleep cycle during the night. If you must nap, set the alarm for a 15 to 20-minute sleep.
3 – Control Your Light Exposure
One of the most surprising aspects of good sleep is the influence of light exposure. Make sure you are exposed to at least two hours of bright light during the day. If this is not practical, use a bright light device to ensure you receive the right amount to aid good sleep.
Blue light, such as from electronic devices, can disrupt normal sleep hormones in the body. Turn off your devices at least two hours before bed, to ensure better sleep.
4 – Get Your Daily Exercise Well Before Bedtime
Exercise is important for muscle strength, strong bones, endurance, coordination and even for brain health as you age. However, how you schedule your exercise routine can affect your ability to fall asleep on a convenient schedule.
Plan your exercise regime for earlier in the evening or the early morning, to prevent increased circulation and energy before bedtime. Finish your exercising at least 3 hours before bedtime, to allow your body a period to “cool down,” in order to be ready for sleep.
5 – Take Active Steps To Put Aside Worries & Stress
The worries and concerns of the day can have a negative impact on your ability to fall asleep and to stay asleep. Make a point of mentally putting aside your concerns, and develop ways to settle your mind and emotions for sleep.
Learning how to meditate can be a good way to develop a more peaceful state of mind. Some people find it helpful to write down the concerns, thereby removing them from the conscious mind. You might prefer listening to music or taking a bath helps you to disengage from the concerns of your busy life.
6 – Set The Scene For Quality Sleep
Many people find it helpful to develop a pre-sleep ritual that puts them in a more relaxed frame of mind that prepares them for deep sleep. You may find putting your clothes out for the next day, setting out lunch items to bring to work, doing a skincare routine or reading a chapter of two of an interesting book helps you to unwind from the day’s activities.
Whatever your preference, make it a habit for the end of each day, to help put you in a more serene frame of mind for sleeping. Make sure your room is a comfortable temperature for sleeping, not too warm and not too cool. Purchase a mattress that provides both support and comfort.
Carefully attend to the amount of light that enters your bedroom during the night. Buy sleep clothing that feels comfortable on your skin. These small details can make a difference in the quality of your sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep should be given as much attention as any other part of your health regime. Along with eating a healthy diet, exercising and seeing your doctor periodically, good sleep is an important part of ensuring you maintain good health and function throughout life. If you implement these sleep tips, you will promote healthy sleep patterns that promote a positive lifestyle.
SEE ALSO: HOW TO REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS 10 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP QUALITY 5 TIPS FOR BATTLING SLEEP APNEA DISORDER
“Chris Nguyen is the Founder & Publisher at Sleep Standards. He aims to inspire better sleep by providing research-based sleep health advice, actionable sleep tips, and unbiased sleep product reviews. Check out SleepStandards.com to find out more about Chris and his work. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.”