Virtually everyone has a poor night of sleep at some point. Although it might leave you feeling tired or cranky the next day, one night of tossing and turning isn’t a big deal.
However, if you’re deprived of sleep on a long-term basis, you’ll face long-term health consequences.
It could put you at increased risk for many severe health problems, including Alzheimer’s, stroke, coronary heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. That’s why you should take steps to improve the quality of your sleep.
1. Give Yourself the Opportunity to Relax
When you’re feeling stressed, it can be hard to settle down and fall asleep at night. That’s why it’s important to do something soothing before bedtime.
You could enjoy a book, listen to calming music, or relax in a warm bath. If your mind races with thoughts of everything you need to do the next day, you could try putting together a to-do list. That way, you’ll know that you have a plan in place.
2. Come Up With a Daily Routine
If you’re a parent, it’s likely that you know routines can help children fall asleep at night. The same thing is true for adults.
When you have a routine, you’ll naturally start to feel tired when it’s close to bedtime. Aim to go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends. Develop a routine that will help you relax.
3. Put Away Your Devices
Your computer, TV, and smartphone should be kept outside your bedroom. In addition, you should stop using these devices an hour before you go to bed.
Electronic devices give off blue light, and that light can keep your body from producing melatonin, a sleep hormone.
4. Make Sure Your Bedroom Is a Good Place to Rest
Keep your room at a comfortable temperature. Somewhere between 60 and 65 degrees is ideal.
Make sure that your bed is comfortable to sleep in and provides you with ample support. Read these reviews to find the best Koala mattress to buy.
Get rid of clutter and make your room into a soothing space. Certain scents, like lavender, can be very relaxing. You may also want to decorate the room with pale colors.
5. Stop Checking the Clock
If you’re stressing that you’re not getting the sleep you need, you might not be able to fall asleep at all.
Instead of checking your clock repeatedly, you should rest in bed and try to think pleasant thoughts.
If you constantly find yourself tempted to look at the clock, you could try turning it so that it’s not facing you. Once the clock is out of sight, you can focus on getting to sleep.
6. Eat the Right Kinds of Foods
It’s easier to get the sleep you need if you stick to a healthy diet. With that said, there are certain foods, like pumpkin seeds, turkey, chicken, and milk, that can really help you rest.
These foods are a source of serotonin and tryptophan, which both produce the sleep hormone melatonin. Try to include these foods in your evening meals.
7. Avoid Problem Foods
There are certain foods, like alcohol and spicy dishes, that should be avoided before bed. You should also try not to eat large meals late at night. Beverages that contain caffeine, like coffee, may also keep you up.
Foods that are high in sugar can be a problem as well. These foods can cause your energy levels to spike and then crash, which can mess with your internal clock.
To make things worse, research suggests that people are more likely to turn to sugary foods after a poor night of sleep. Eating the wrong foods can set you on a cycle that can be tough to get out of.
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