Sleep should never be overrated and we think that skipping sleep is a bad idea. The American National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep. A range of 7-9 hours is recommended. Teenagers aged 14 to 17 require 8-10 hours of sleep for their bodies to function right and young kids require even longer hours up to 11 hours. They recommend up to 14 hours of sleep for toddler and newborns and infants should sleep anywhere from 14 hours to 18 hours a day. So, it’s great that we know sleep is important but how do you make sure you can actually fall asleep and stay asleep long? Here are ten ways to get yourself sleeping better tonight:
- Don’t exercise right before sleep
Exercise pumps up your adrenaline and gets you activated. This will make it hard to fall asleep or even stay asleep longer. Experts recommend that you don’t engage in any vigorous exercise at least 2-3 hours before your bedtime. It’s okay to take a gentle stroll if it helps you relax before sleep but going on a marathon run a few hours before sleep is just a no-no.
- Don’t eat right before sleep
Common sense tells us that we shouldn’t eat before going to sleep but why not? Why does it matter when we eat in relation to when we sleep? Well, food digestion can take up to 4 hours to complete so if you eat and then go right to bed, you’ll probably end up with discomfort and indigestion which can keep you from sleeping longer and better.
- Turn off all electronics a few hours before bedtime
Electronic emit light which boosts wakefulness, which essentially means it’s hard to sleep when you have electronics such as TV, iPads, smart phones, video games turned on. Texting late at night or playing video games at night also stimulate your brains and make it harder to shut things down and go to sleep.
- Drink something warm and fulfilling like herbal tea or hot cocoa
A warm tea of something warm can help calm you down and aid digestion. If you don’t feel full and bloated, you’re more likely to fall asleep faster and better as well as sleep longer. Some people enjoy chamomile tea right before bedtime due to its soothing and calming effects on the body and its ability to promote a good night sleep.
- Keep all noise down
Similar to turning all electronics down is the need to turn all noise down. An hour before sleep is probably not the best time to play loud music or have loud discussions as those tend to get you fired up and not able to sleep fast. Try to keep things calm and cool right before sleep so you sleep longer and faster at night.
- Keep Room at right temperature
Maintaining the right temperature for your room is one way to promote good sleep and long sleep. If you’re too cold, you’re naturally going to be uncomfortable and if you’re too hot, you’re also going to be naturally uncomfortable. So, keep your room temperature where it’s not too hot or too cold so you can enjoy a good night sleep!
- Put on comfortable and semi-loose clothing
If you dress too tight, you’ll have a hard time sleeping. If you dress too loose, you might not be cozy and warm enough at nighttime so we recommend that you sleep in clothes that are in between. Not too loose and not too tight so you’re able to feel warm and cozy, and yet comfortable throughout the duration of your sleep.
- Have a regular bedtime
Maintaining a schedule is a good thing. And keeping a good sleep schedule is an even better thing. We’re not saying to sleep at 9:32 pm every night, no, far from that. We’re saying to have a particular window of time that you generally go to bed and try to stick to that time frame when possible so your body gets used to the process of getting ready to have a good night sleep.
- Use the bathroom before bed
Nothing is as irritating as waking up every few hours to use the bathroom as that messes up your sleep cycle! You might also find it harder to fall back to sleep after you’ve woken up. Our advice is to use the bathroom before sleep and when possible, limit the amount of water you drink right before sleep time so you don’t wake up excessively.
- Take a relaxing evening shower
A slow and warm shower right before bed will relax your body and get you in the mood for a good night sleep. Once you’re relaxed, it’s easier to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Take a long, leisurely shower, and if possible, a bubble bath if you have one, either way, try to relax and enjoy the feel of the warm water on your skin to get you ready for sleep.