- Avoiding caffeine
Caffeine results in stimulation of the nervous system and leaves you alert. You might think it is okay to have a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon, but many studies show that caffeine can remain in your system for up to 6 hours. This can be even longer when taking some medications.
It’s not only tea and coffee that has caffeine, fizzy drinks and chocolate contain it too. You should instead choose natural alternatives like herbal tea and pure juice. If you cannot break the habit, consider looking for natural coffee substitutes. This will give you an easier way of satisfying your coffee craving without consuming caffeine that disrupts your sleep.
- Avoid drinking anything an hour before bedtime
This will help you avoid going to the toilet in the middle of the night. If you feel like you have to go to the toilet, avoid putting the lights on (but this doesn’t mean having to fall over things) because it is going to keep you awake and make it harder for you to sleep. If you need to have light, then consider using a torch.
- Avoid eating late at night
You should avoid eating before bedtime because the body is forced to digest the food instead of sleeping. Eating foods rich in sugar is going to spike your sugar levels, which can keep your body awake. This disrupts your sleep.
There are some foods you should always stay away from if you want to have a goodnight’s sleep. You need to work on your mealtimes because you want to avoid eating anything 2 hours before bedtime (the earlier the better). You can choose to have a heavy lunch and a light meal at night.
- Relaxing your mind
You can relax your mind by reading a pleasant book, having a warm bath, trying some yoga, or deep breathing exercises that are going to calm and quieten your mind. Learn more about breathing techniques that will help you in relieving stress.
Clearing your mental agenda before going to bed is a good idea – start by making a list of things that are on your mind that you need to work on, then put them aside before going to bed. It is important to be organized, especially when you are spending a lot of time worrying about the next day instead of sleeping.
- Getting rid of distractions
Remove any sources of noise from your bedroom e.g. ticking clocks, pets, and phones. You can block out light distractions using a pair of blackout curtains. Invest in a new Sealy mattress to avoid tossing and turning all night.
- Reserving your bed for sleep
When you have a computer, television, or stacks of work in your bedroom, it will be hard to switch off your brain because the brain will start associating being in bed with being awake and on edge.
Things that twinkle or flash or emit electronic light like phones, TVs, and laptops can disturb your sleep because they inhibit the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone.
Do not plug your smartphone at night, just put it on one side. Don’t rely on your phone as your alarm. You might be tempted to reach for your phone any time you are having a hard time sleeping. Alarm clocks can also interrupt your sleep pattern and can result in grogginess, especially if you are one of those people who keep hitting the snooze button!
You should consider trying the natural approach of waking yourself up in the morning. A good option is a sunrise alarm that gently emits a light mimicking sunlight, which will wake you up gradually. This is better than an alarm that jerks you out of REM sleep.
- Keeping it cool
You need to have your bedroom a little cooler than warm because overheating is not good for sleep. You should make sure you avoid getting cold feet because it is going to make it harder for you to sleep. A cool room and cozy bed socks are going to help you get the sleep you need.