We all know that sleep is crucial for good health, but what is the best way to get a good night’s sleep? Here are ten tips to help you consistently get the best sleep of your life!
1. Have a Set Sleeping Schedule
Try to keep the same sleeping routine every night. Go to bed and wake up at consistent times (even on the weekend). Experts recommend 7-9 hours, every night. This may seem like a hassle, but the payoff in sleep quality is worth it.
2. Have a Nightly Routine
Establish before bed habits, like journaling, reading, stretching, or taking a bath. These habits will signal your brain that it’s time for bed, and will help you to wind down.
3. Avoid Stimulants
Avoid caffeine after 3:00pm. Caffeine has been shown to stay in your system anywhere from 4-6 hours after drinking it. Even though having that iced americano may help you cruise through your afternoon, it can really mess with your ability to fall asleep later at night.
4. It’s OK to Be in the Dark
Keep your room dark when you go to bed. Light can prevent your brain from releasing melatonin, a hormone that signals that you are ready to sleep. It is recommended that you minimize lighting and use of electronics 60 minutes prior to sleep.
5. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise improves sleep quality, and helps you to go to bed tired. Additionally, new research show that it is ok to workout close to your bed time. A commonly held myth was that exercising within 2 hours before bed could negatively affect sleep, this is not the case. You can read more about this here. So feel free to exercise at anytime during the day!
6. Create a Restful Atmosphere
Make sure your room is calm and peaceful. Try to make your room as quiet as possible. It should also be cool and clean. A messy room is difficult to relax in, and a hot room will make it hard to fall asleep.
7. Comfort is Key
Pillows and mattresses should be comfortable. You should replace pillows yearly and mattresses every 5-7 years. Fresh sheets and clean pillowcases are also very relaxing.
8. Keep Your Eyes Off the Clock
Avoid visible clocks and clock watching. Keeping track of time spent not sleeping can be stressful and keep you awake.
9. Get More Sunshine in Your Life
Get at least 30 minutes of sunshine daily. The sun will help balance your sleep/wake cycle. Sunshine also gives you Vitamin D, which gives you a host of other benefits.
10. Stay Away From Electronics Before Bed
The blue LED lights emitted from your electronics (phones, tv's, computers, etc...) interfere with your sleep cycle. It can delay sleep by as much as 3 hours! We realize that Facebook isn’t going to check itself, but resist the urge to scroll through your feed right before bed. Another way to get around this is to consider installing a free app like F.lux on your computer, which dims the colors on your screen to match the sun (we use this on our computers at Utzy HQ and love it!).