Are you tired of counting sheep every night without success? From drinking a warm glass of milk to practicing good habits in the evening, there are a number of ways to improve your sleeping habits. Having difficulty sleeping is nothing new. Whether you're feeling stress, are a natural insomniac, or have problems for other reasons, there's no substitute for a good night's sleep.
Even if you find yourself able to sleep at night, your sleep quality may be lacking. This can lead to difficulty concentrating during the day or running into other problems such as feeling hungry, irritable, and cranky.
You don't have to settle for sleeping poorly though! Thousands of people struggle with good sleep habits and have successfully found methods to overcome them. We've included some great sleeping tips to help you be more well rested. While not all of these may work for you, they'll give you a great basis to get started improving your sleep.
1. Choose a Cool and Dark Room
Although you may not know this, a room that's cool and free of light is best for sleeping. The National Sleep Foundation found that 73% of Americans said that a dark room was beneficial to their sleeping patterns. While you may find that your desirable temperature varies, keeping the room around 60-67 degrees is usually best. A cooler room can be beneficial in this area. Additionally, finding a dark space may be challenging but consider installing blackout curtains or other shades to block light in your room. By making the bedroom a place of peace and quiet, you'll have a much better chance of getting a good night's sleep.
2. Take a Bath Before Bedtime
We all enjoy having a nice warm bath in the evening but did you know that this could actually help you sleep better? One study that was done found that taking a bath before bedtime helped people fall asleep faster. The hot water works by changing your core temperature that may help to signal your body that it's time to go to bed.
3. Stick to a Sleep Schedule
Most people think about sleep schedules for kids but did you know that this behavior also works when you're an adult? Taking control of your sleep schedule is a great way to start getting better sleep. You can start building this habit by setting a time for you to go to bed and wake up and stick with it.
It may be tough at first, but by sticking with a schedule, your body will be in a natural state of mind to sleep when you reach that point. Make sure that you're budgeting enough time to get adequate sleep though. Most people try to give themselves 7-8 hours a night. This is optimal so you may not have great results if you only budget 5 or 6 hours.
4. Consider an Evening Read
Screen time is often tempting right before you go to bed. However, the blue light from our devices may disrupt sleep patterns and actually make it harder to go to sleep. Instead, consider breaking out your favorite book. Reading is a great way to relax. Even just a few minutes reading can reduce stress and help you to unwind from a busy day. If you enjoy reading, consider keeping a few books around and commit to reading a chapter or two in the evening.
You can choose any book that you prefer, but you may find that a book with a strong descriptive narrative is best. Books that are frightening or full of tension may not be ideal. Keep a few of your favorite books by the bedside and try to read before trying to go to bed. Just six minutes can be all that's needed to make a difference.
5. Turn on the Tunes
Music can have a huge impact on our moods. It can work by relaxing us, energizing us, and helping us to feel happy or sad. It's important to find ways to decompress after a busy day and a tune can help us get there.
Rather than listening to the news, consider putting on one of your favorite CDs or playlists. Classical music is often best but you can choose a preferred artist or style. It's typically best to avoid any fast-paced or loud music in the evening. You can even find sleep music and sleepcasts to help you get started if you're not sure of what to look for.
6. Avoid Late-Night Snacking
It's fairly common for some of us to feel like we need a snack before we go to bed. In general, it's better to eat dinner at least a few hours before you to go bed. If you can't do this, then consider having a lighter snack rather than a heavy meal. Heavy and large meals are going to take hours to digest and this may keep you up. Even if you feel hungry, try to have just enough to satisfy your stomach and then try to have a better breakfast when you wake up in the morning.
Focus on Small Improvements - Many times, sleeping problems don't resolve overnight. Even if you start to follow all of this advice, it may take you some time to feel as though your sleeping patterns are improving. Take note of small progress and if you start feeling better rested in the mornings. Focus on one or more of these tips at a time and take note of any improvements. Chances are that with consistently good sleep habits, you'll find yourself having an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep. Better sleep is within your grasp- what are you waiting for? Get started with these habits today.