1. GOOD BED, GOOD SLEEP
It may sound obvious, but your bed is no place to skimp or cut corners. Investing in top-quality sleep products is an investment in good health – it just makes sense. Your bed should be wide enough and long enough to give you the room you need, and it should always be comfortable. Mattress getting worn out? Time for a replacement. (Consider a good-quality mattress topper too – a topper can add comfort, support and extra life to your mattress.)
2. STICK TO THE SCHEDULE
Believe it or not, the same old routine can be a good thing – when it comes to sleeping, at least. Try to go to bed and get up around the same time every day, even on the weekends. Varying the routine can contribute to poor sleep.
3. CAN’T SLEEP? STOP TRYING!
For a while, anyway. If you just can’t get to sleep, try getting up and doing something calming and relaxing for a few minutes. Before you know it, you’ll probably start feeling sleepy again.
4. KEEP IT COOL, DARK & QUIET
Your bedroom, that is. Light tells the body to wake up, and a noisy or overly hot bedroom can make it hard to relax. A cool, dark, quiet environment will make it much easier to get to sleep. Your bedroom should be a restful refuge, so try to reserve your bed just for sleeping.
5. SNACK SMARTER
If you eat too late, you may find that the continuing digestion process makes it harder to get to sleep. If you find yourself craving a snack before bedtime, try to make it a light, healthy one.
6. ENJOY THE DAYTIME
Try to spend as much time as possible in the sunlight during the day, especially during the winter months. Sunlight reduces the body’s melatonin levels, making us feel more alert; nighttime darkness increases those levels, helping us to feel sleepy. More sunlight during the day can help keep your body’s clock running properly – and make it easier to get to sleep.
7. CREATE A NAP-FREE ZONE
Sure, sometimes a catnap is just what you need. But too many naps, especially close to bedtime, can make it difficult to get to sleep. Try your best to do your sleeping at nighttime.
8. GET YOUR EXERCISE
Everybody knows that moderate exercise is a good thing. But you may not know that exercise can make it easier to get a good night’s sleep. It tires you out while increasing your body’s levels of sleep-promoting substances.
9. BAN THE BURN
Heartburn is a frequent cause of sleeplessness. If you know that certain foods are likely to be troublemakers, you may want to consider dropping them from your diet – or at least cutting back.
Take a few moments to unwind and relax before bedtime. This isn’t the time to do (or think about) anything stressful – save it for tomorrow.