Expert tips for a better night’s sleep
When we talk about wellness, we often contain the conversation to diet and exercise, and forget one of the most vital components—sleep. A good night’s sleep is an integral element of a healthy lifestyle.
If you don’t feel well rested, you’re not alone. One in three Canadians report that they get less than the requisite seven hours per night and nearly half do not find that sleep refreshing.
The good news is that there are remedies that can make a difference. Here are a few expert tips to help you catch more zzz’s.
Maintain a consistent schedule
Make a concerted effort to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. It can be tricky, especially if you have kids, or a partner with a different routine. However, a consistent schedule reinforces your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, which will make it easier to regularly attain a full night’s sleep.
Create the perfect environment
Invest in high quality pillows, linens, and a mattress that is made for your sleeping habits. If you are sensitive to light, consider installing heavy blinds or blackout curtains. And pay attention to the temperature in your bedroom—if you’re too hot or too cold, it will be tougher to nod off.
Consider what you eat and drink
What you put into your body can have a major impact on your body’s natural rhythms. If possible, avoid eating before bed, as bedtime snacks are proven to have a negative effect on your sleep cycle. Ensure that you also cut off your caffeine intake 4 – 6 hours before bedtime and limit your alcohol consumption to 1-2 drinks per day. Alcohol might help you fall asleep initially, but later in the night it acts as a stimulant, causing you to toss and turn.
Catch some morning rays
Open your curtains and let the sun in first thing in the morning. Natural light affects your sleep-wake cycle, so getting some rays when you roll out of bed can help you get more rest at night.
Work out—but not before bed
Regular exercise has a world of benefits, and helping you get a better night’s sleep is one of them. To feel more tired by bedtime, make sure add some moderate cardio to your day. However, avoid working out before bed—it will increase your alertness instead of helping you wind down.
Keep your naps short
Of course, avoiding naps altogether is the best way to ensure they don’t prevent you from falling asleep at night. However, if you do need to nap, the key is keeping your snoozes brief and early in the day.
Establish a bedtime routine
Create a nighttime ritual that helps you wind down in your own way. Set aside time to read a book. Drink a cup of herbal tea. Enjoy a bubble bath. Even if you only have fifteen minutes to spare, establishing an evening ritual can be an effective way to relax before bed.