It’s important that we make the most out of our sleep each night. This can help us wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School there are several things we can do that may help us sleep better. If you struggle getting sound sleep try a few of these tactics out and see if you can tell a difference.
TURN YOUR BEDROOM INTO A SLEEP-INDUCING ENVIRONMENT:
Keep your room as quiet, dark, and cool as possible. Consider using ear plugs to block out sound if necessary and heavy curtains to obstruct any outside light. Remove distractions such as TVs and computers and focus on getting quality sleep and relaxation while you’re in your bedroom.
ESTABLISH A SOOTHING PRE-SLEEP ROUTINE:
Try yoga, meditation, a hot bath, or reading before you lay down. Anything that gets you relaxed enough to fall asleep will help you to fall asleep faster and maintain a sound sleep. It’s best to go to bed when you’re truly tired and ready. A soothing pre-sleep routine can help you avoid those menacing thoughts that seem to start as soon as our heads hit the pillow.
AVOID CAFFEINE, TOBACCO, AND ALCOHOL BEFORE BED:
Allow four to six hours between your last caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol consumption and a sound night’s sleep. Even alcohol becomes a stimulant after a few hours. Drinking too much alcohol too close to bedtime can increase your awakenings and decrease your quality of sleep.
NAP EARLY IN THE DAY OR NOT AT ALL:
Late naps can decrease your sleep drive. If you insist on napping make it early and for a short period of time. Nap before five and for an hour or less.
KEEP A CONSISTENT SLEEP SCHEDULE:
This isn’t possible for everyone, but do the best you can to stay on a consistent sleep schedule. This includes weekends as well. Keeping your internal clock on a familiar schedule will encourage sounder sleep.