How many times have you woken up after a long night’s sleep only to feel like you didn’t sleep at all? You just don’t feel well rested, so you try to catch up on the weekends.
It’s important to get a proper night’s sleep because it affects your productivity, memory, reaction time, alertness and patience. But there’s no one rule to follow to get the best sleep possible. Since sleep is so personal, what is helpful for one person might not work for another.
See what works for you of these tips from sleep experts. You might want to try one, two or a combination of tips to get a good, quality sleep. If your sleeping problems persist, consult your doctor. You might have a sleep disorder that warrants medical attention.
- Maintain a regular bedtime and wake up schedule. Try to stick to that sleep schedule, even on the weekends. Consistency helps alert your body to when it’s time to go to sleep and wake up.
- It’s best to sleep only at night. Daytime naps will steal hours from your nighttime slumber.
- Create an ideal sleep environment. It should be comfortable and cool. The room should be quiet, without the noise of a radio or TV. Use a fan or earplugs to mask sounds like trains, airplanes, traffic or a snoring partner.
- Your mattress should not be too small, soft, hard or old. Look for one that offers adequate comfort and support. And if you share your bed, make sure there’s enough room for two.
- Finish all exercise and consumption of food, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and nicotine a few hours before bedtime. All of these items can interfere with your sleep. If you do need to eat, indulge in foods that trigger serotonin, which makes you tired. Try bread, cereal, milk, tuna or turkey. For a beverage, sip warm milk or herbal tea (such as camomile or ginseng).
- Physical activity promotes a better sleep. Just be sure to exercise in the afternoon or early evening so you aren’t full of energy at bedtime.
- Don’t ponder a list of worries before you go to bed. Do all that before you are ready for bed so you aren’t up half the night thinking about them.
- Use the bed just for sleeping. Light from computers or televisions can inhibit sleep. If you do need to read before you go to sleep, use a low-wattage bulb, such as 15.
- If you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t look at the clock. It will only make you agonize over the fact that you aren’t asleep.
- Can’t go to sleep? A hot shower or bath can be conducive to sleep because it relaxes muscles.