In today’s 24-hour-a-day society, it can be hard to get enough sleep. This is true in spite of the fact that we all know how vital quality rest is to keep you thinking, feeling and looking your best.
You can get a good night’s sleep, but you may need to make a few adjustments in your lifestyle. Try these 11 tips and see if they improve your sleeping habits.
1. Keep a regular schedule. Keep your biological clock steady by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (including weekends and holidays).
2. Develop a sleep ritual. Signal your body that it’s time to sleep by doing the same activities each night.
3. Limit caffeine and nicotine. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that produce an alerting effect, which can remain in the body up to 12 hours.
4. Avoid Alcohol. Alcohol may make you tired, but it actually disrupts sleeping patterns by causing multiple nighttime awakenings.
5. Associate your bed with sleeping. To strengthen the association between your bed and sleeping, try to read, watch TV, snack, and chat on the phone someplace else.
6. Create an environment that is conducive to sleep. Design your sleeping space with the conditions you need for a truly restful experience. Make sure it is quiet, dark, comfortable, and free of interruptions.
7. Limit time in bed. If you do not fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes of going to bed, it is best to get out of bed until you are feeling sleepy again.
8. Exercise regularly to relieve daily tension and stress. But don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may get revved up instead. Finish your exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime.
9. Avoid late-afternoon and evening naps. Don’t allow yourself to doze off while reading or watching television prior to bedtime—this will interfere with your quality sleep time.
10. Give yourself “permission” to go to bed. As hard as it may be to turn off the TV or shut down the computer, try to make sleep a priority.
11. Don’t eat or drink too much before bedtime. This may make you uncomfortable or have to go to the bathroom during the night.