Getting a Good Night’s Sleep: A Guide

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial not only for your physical health but for your mental wellbeing. Unfortunately, for millions of people around the globe, it’s not that easy. Do you find yourself tossing and turning for several hours before you finally drift off into a fitful sleep? Sleep quality and quantity have been declining for a few decades now, so you’re not alone! Thankfully, there are many things you can do to improve the quality of your night’s sleep. If you’ve already tried counting sheep and it doesn’t work, here are some more suggestions you can try.

Get Plenty of Exercise

Regular exercise brings with it a wealth of benefits. Not only will it help you keep trim, improve the health of your heart and circulation, but it can also help you get a good night’s sleep. When you exercise, the production of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin increases. You do need to pick the right time to exercise, however, because doing it too close to getting into bed can actually have the opposite effect.

Introduce a Sleep Ritual

When you think back to your younger years, it’s highly likely you had a dedicated routine before bed, such as a bath, warm drink, and storytime. There’s no doubt that this kind of bedtime ritual would have helped you fall asleep quickly. Apply this practice to your adult life and see what a difference it could make. You could take a relaxing bath, read to yourself for half an hour, drink a glass of warm milk, or listen to an audiobook, for example. What’s more, make this the routine for every night going forward.

Create the ideal environment

Perhaps your restless nights lie with your bed and bedroom atmosphere, rather than anything you are doing. If you suffer from back pain, for example, choosing the best mattress for back pain is vital. Being comfortable in your bedroom is equally essential. The ideal environment is a room that’s quiet, dark, and at the optimum temperature – not too warm, and not too cold.

Ditch the Alcohol and Caffeine

Having a snack before bedtime is not a bad thing to do. In fact, it will stop your grumbling stomach from keeping you awake. The best kind of snack is an apple with a slice of cheese or some wholewheat crackers. The worst type of snack is chocolate and a glass of wine. Chocolate contains caffeine which is a stimulant and the same applies to alcohol.

De-Stress

If you’ve got a lot of stress in your life, unsurprisingly, this isn’t conducive to a good night’s sleep! If you spend a lot of time during the day worrying about various issues in your life, it’s only natural that they surface again when your head hits the pillow. Try and find ways to relax and look for solutions to the problems you’re stressing over. For example, write down your worries before you get into bed, as this gets the problem out of your head.

Turn Your Devices Off

Do you check your social media pages before you go to bed? Do you reach for your smartphone when you can’t get to sleep? It might surprise you to learn that you’re doing more damage than good. Watching TV or using electronic devices such as a tablet, smartphone or laptop stops your bodies internal clock from releasing melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone, and the artificial blue light that’s emitted by your devices is suppressing its release. Introduce a curfew for two hours before bed and find something else to do. If you think you can’t manage two hours without your electronic device, try for at least 30 minutes instead.

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