5 Tips to Sleep Smarter
- By Alyssa Ruffing
- Jul 11, 2019
While sleeping through the night may be an easy, everyday occurrence for some, for others it can be very hard to come by. There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling tired all day, but when bed time rolls around, being wide awake. Lack of sleep can really have an affect on your day to day life. It can interfere with your productivity at work, performance in exercising, or caring for your children. The list goes on. Luckily, we are here to help! Take a look at these tips that will help you sleep smarter, so you can work towards getting that great night’s sleep you’ve been dreaming of.
Watch Light Exposure
While to some this may be obvious, it is important to be mindful of the amount of light exposure you are experiencing during the day as well as at night. As for during the day, getting more exposure to light can be more beneficial. Spend as much time outside in the sunlight as you can. Take a walk or eat your lunch outside. Additionally, let as much light into your home or work space as possible. Keep those blinds and curtains open during the day or move your desk to the closest window.
As it gets closer to night time, however, you’ll want to do the opposite! Turn off lights when it is time for bed. If you need a dim light to move around safely, try installing a small, dim nightlight, but nothing too bright that could cause you to stay awake. Additionally, try to incorporate blackout curtains to block the natural light from entering your room.
Clear Your Mind
Another common reason that people cannot fall asleep at night can be due to their inability to wind down their mind, and not let stress or anxiety affect their nighttime routine. If worrying or anxiety takes over your nighttime thoughts, there are a few things that you can do to try and calm yourself down while trying to fall asleep. Envision calming and restful environment. While laying in bed, picture a place that is peaceful and relaxing, and really zero in on how relaxed this place causes you to feel. Next, try some deep breathing exercises. Close your eyes, and take 10 deep, slow breaths in a row. Try to focus on making each breath even deeper than the last.
If you aren’t exercising already, adding in a small workout to your daily routine can have an impact on the quality of sleep you’re getting at night. People who exercise regularly feel less sleepy during the day, as well as tend to have a more restful sleep during the night. It also can help to improve sleep apnea and insomnia symptoms. While more vigorous exercise provides the most powerful benefits, even a light exercise can still improve the quality of your sleep. Get outside and take a walk, you’ll thank yourself later!
Watch Your Diet
Believe it or not, what you eat and drink can absolutely have an affect on the quality of sleep you’re getting. If you’re someone that needs that daily caffeine intake, try to limit the amount you are drinking, especially before bed. This doesn’t just include coffee; stay away from soft drinks or energy drinks about 5-6 hours before bed time. Not only will caffeine interfere with your sleep, but so will alcohol. It may help you fall asleep initially, however it can interfere with your sleep cycle once you have fallen asleep. If possible, try to avoid consuming it regularly prior to bed. And finally, if you are drinking a lot of liquids before night, this is going to cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and run to the bathroom. While these may seem obvious, small tweaks can show big improvement.
Set a Sleep Schedule
If you find yourself going to bed very early some nights, and very late other nights, this could be a reason as to why you are not able to consistently get the sleep you need. If your sleep schedule is constantly changing, your body will not be able to set itself into a consistent rhythm. Finding a schedule that works for you is important to ensuring you’re getting the adequate amount of sleep that you need.
While these tips may not be the cure-all for every sleep struggle out there, they can absolutely help you feel more in control of the quality of sleep that you are getting every night.