Our sleep is vitally important to our health. If we aren’t sleeping well, then all of the other areas of our life suffer. You need about 7-9 hours of sleep a night. To get the best sleep possible, create a nightly routine to help you turn off your mind and body, and prepare for deep sleep. Here are some nighttime habits you should incorporate into your nightly routine for a great night’s sleep:
1. Cut Your Caffeine Consumption: This doesn’t mean that you can’t drink coffee, tea, and sodas, but you should limit your consumption after a certain time of day. Usually, experts suggest stop drinking caffeinated beverages around 2pm. If you struggle sleeping at night, then push that time back to noon. By reducing this stimulant, your body will be able to find its normal balance of wake and sleep.
2. Wind Down Without Bluelight: Our electronics fill our lives, and they all use a lit screen to show us our favorite things. This light tells our brain that it’s still daylight, and tricks us into not producing the right amount of melanin that we need to start to feel sleepy. You can take melanin supplements, but nothing beats the natural hormone that your body makes. Put down the tablets and phones and turn off the tv at least an hour before bedtime.
3. No Naps: If you nap during the day irregularly, then you’ll disrupt your normal wake-sleep habit. Even though you may be super tired, try to avoid napping during the day. You’ll be able to sleep better in the evening if you go to bed a little earlier rather than napping during the day.
4. Be Consistent: Do your best to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. We all have a circadian rhythm, which is our internal clock. It tells our body when to start making hormones to be alert, and when to start shutting down. If you do this consistently, then you’ll fall into a normal pattern easily and stay asleep longer. To keep your sleep schedule consistent, have a nightly routine that gets your mind and body ready for bed.
5. Keep It Cool: Where you sleep should be slightly cooler than what you have during the day. If your thermostat is normally set to 74, then bump it down to 70 for bed.
6. Use Lavender Scents: Lavender is a natural scent that promotes calm and relaxed feelings. Add this into your routine with an essential oil, lotion, or bath soap to start the relaxation process.
7. Read or Write Before Bed: In your nightly routine add in something to help your shut your mind down. Read a book to keep you entertained before you nod off. Or you can write a brief journal entry to put your busy thoughts down on paper to help calm your mind. Whatever works for you. Make it something you do every day to help you stay consistent.
8. Put on a Noise Machine: While you are reading or writing, have your noise machine on to help block out any outside noises. It’ll let you easily turn off your brain and drown out things that could pull you out of sleep.
When you sleep better, you’ll function better at your job. You’ll think more clearly, exercise with more stamina, and feel better overall. Change up your daily habits to create a better nighttime.
Related: 6 Sleep Facts You Didn't Know
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