While a lousy night’s sleep is a rarity for some, for others sleep loss is a common and unwelcomed occurrence. If you seem to be struggling with getting even one peaceful night of rest lately, there may be something you are doing in your day to day and nightly routine that is preventing you from your much needed rest. Try these tips to help you feel better rested and catch more Z’s.
- Create a Nightly Routine: Think about all of the things that you do before bed. Are you stressing about work the next day or indulging in late night TV? Stop. It is important to have nightly rituals that do the opposite of stress you out and leave you wired. Try powering down all your electronics, lowering the lights and taking a warm bath or reading a calming book before bed each night to ensure your best possible night’s sleep.
- Skip the Afternoon Nap: Do you typically indulge in a daytime nap or two? While you may not know it, this could be affecting your natural sleep cycle. If you can help it, skip naps during the day to help you rest better at night. If you find this difficult and can’t overcome the desire to snooze for a bit, make sure that your nap is no longer than 20 minutes. If you still find yourself in an energy slump, try drinking a glass of ice water or going for a short walk.
- Be Consistent: When attempting to achieve a better night’s sleep, it is important to focus less on achieving one night and more on achieving all nights. This can be done by setting your body clock and sticking to it, meaning going to sleep and waking up at roughly the same time every day. While this can be difficult, the routine will set your body into a specific sleep schedule that will allow you to doze off quickly and sleep soundly all night long.
- Work Out: Plain and simple-exercising regularly will help you sleep better at night. Just as long as you don’t do any rigorous exercise a few hours before bed. If it has been in your routine to hit the gym late night, this could be the reason you have trouble sleeping as post work-out energy boosts can keep you up after hours. Try exercising earlier in the day and work in some calming exercises like yoga and meditation at night
- Watch your Diet: Food and drink can be a major reason why you are losing your slumber. Avoid going to bed hungry or stuffed after a heavy meal by eating a light snack before bed. Other factors that could be causing your sleep loss are alcohol and your afternoon caffeine boost. While some think that a night cap is a great way to help you doze off, alcohol can actually disrupt your sleep later on and your afternoon coffee can take hours to wear off.
- Consult your Doctor: If you find that you are still having trouble sleeping at night, it may be wise to contact a doctor. Your doctor can help identify any underlying causes to your sleep deprivation and get your closer to the better night’s sleep you deserve.