If you’re like millions of other people around the world, you feel like you don’t get enough sleep at night. Or maybe you sleep for enough hours, but you still wake up feeling groggy, and spend the rest of the day feeling sluggish. Poor sleep is a common problem for a lot of people, but luckily it isn’t too hard to fix. Here are a few strategies you can try if you want to start getting better sleep.
Watch Your Diet
The first thing you should start doing is watching your diet. Your diet plays a large role in not only how well you feel throughout the day, but how well you can sleep at night. You’ll want to be particularly careful about what you eat and drink before going to bed. Foods and drinks with a lot of sugar, or any alcoholic beverages, can keep you awake throughout the night. These items will make it harder to fall asleep, and to stay asleep once you do.
Change Your Nighttime Routine
Along with watching what you eat and drink before bed, you should also monitor other aspects of your bedtime routine. For example, it’s been shown that using electronics before bed can keep your mind active and you’ll have a harder time falling asleep. To fix this, you’ll want to put your phone and computer away an hour before bed, and refrain from watching TV. The last hour before you fall asleep should be filled with activities like reading, stretching, or meditating.
Upgrade Your Mattress
Improving your diet and your nighttime routines will only go so far if you’re sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, so it’s important that you’re doing it in a comfortable place. If it’s been a while since you’ve gotten a new mattress, or if yours just isn’t that comfortable, it’s time for an upgrade. New mattresses are often expensive, but if you hunt around long enough, you can find some good deals. A good place to start is comparing Nectar vs Tuft and Needle, as these are affordable mattresses but still comfortable. Test out any mattresses you’re interested in to be sure they are right for you before purchasing.
Exercise Throughout the Day
Maybe the reason you’re having trouble sleeping at night is because you’re just not tired enough. If you spend most of your day sitting around behind a desk, your body may be wide awake when it comes time for bed. To fix this, it’s important that you add an exercise routine throughout the day. By giving yourself a tough workout during the day, you’ll be more tired at night. In addition, if you add some stretches to your workout, your muscles will be more relaxed, and you can then get more comfortable in bed. Exercise is great for both your physical and mental health, so when you add in the sleep benefits, it’s an obvious habit change you should make.
Avoid the Snooze Button
When you don’t get enough sleep at night, it’s tempting to hit the snooze button in the morning. You might even set your alarm early just so you can have the satisfaction of hitting that button. However, the snooze button may be doing you more harm than good. Each time you hit the snooze button, you make it harder for your body to truly wake up. It may sound difficult, but your best option is to actually roll out of bed right away, rather than hitting the snooze. Hitting the snooze only confuses your brain, as it doesn’t know whether it should start waking up or going back to sleep in the morning.
Block Out the Lights
Finally, you should work to remove any light in your bedroom at night. When your eyes take in light, no matter how small of an amount, it sends a signal to your brain that it isn’t time for bed. We mentioned putting away electronics before bed, but you should also do things like close the curtains to your room, make sure all the lights are off before bed, and turn things like digital clocks away from you. If it’s easier, consider getting yourself a sleep mask to create the illusion of being in a dark room. The less light you have at night, the faster your brain will settle down.
Start Working on Your Sleep Routine
Getting better sleep is only a few small life changes away. If you can change your diet, get some more exercise, and modify what you do before you go to bed, you can start getting significantly better sleep. Once you do, you’ll have more energy throughout the day, and you’ll wonder how you ever made it through a day before on bad sleep.