5 Things You Can Do to Sleep Better Tonight
Sleep better, along with a healthy diet, is the undisputed champ of living a healthier life.
Here are just a few of the seemingly endless benefits it provides:
Sleep Better Benefits
- Leads to a longer life. A 2010 study found that more deaths occurred among women between the ages of 50 and 79 when they slept less than five hours per night.
- Improves memory. Research has shown that while you sleep, your brain strengthens both its memory and practice skills (a.k.a. the things you memorized and learned while you were awake).
- Encourages creativity. Not only does it build its memory and practice skills, your brain also reorganizes said skills, which has been linked to a creativity boost.
- Helps maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that people who get an adequate amount of sleep each night lose more fat and retain more muscle mass than those who are sleep deprived.
Unfortunately, nearly 75% of Americans admit they never get enough sleep, even when they try. There are several factors that contribute to that statistic – some more powerful than others.
If you happen to be in the 75th percentile, then what you’re about to read can very well be life altering.
Below, you’ll find five of the most powerful strategies you can implement tonight to start to sleep better and wake up refreshed like you both desperately need and deserve.
#1 Method to Sleep Better Tonight:
Take a hot bath.
Your body’s temperature naturally declines at night, especially two hours before sleep. When this temperature drop occurs, your body becomes more relaxed, making it easier for you to fall asleep and sleep better.
You can duplicate this process before your body naturally does so by taking a hot bath a couple of hours before your self-designated bedtime. For instance, if you want to be asleep by 11 P.M., then take a hot bath around 9 P.M.
Soak in the tub for around 20-30 minutes. After you get out, your body temperature will drop and you’ll find yourself more relaxed and prone to sleepiness.
#2 Method to Sleep Better Tonight:
Lay off the stimulants in the evening.
Stimulants, like caffeine and nicotine, contain ingredients that keep you awake and alert. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing around 2 P.M., it can mess with your sleep when consumed too late in the evening.
Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to lay off the coffee and cigarettes sooner in the day rather than later. It’s best to avoid coffee after 2 P.M. and smoking at least 3-4 hours before bedtime and begin to sleep better tonight.
*Special Note: The same applies to decaffeinated coffee drinkers, too. Studies have shown that one cup of coffee can contain up to 32mg of caffeine! The same amount found in a 12 oz. soda.
#3 Method to Sleep Better Tonight:
Avoid consuming “heavy” foods and liquid before bed.
Your body is not designed to digest food while you sleep. For that reason, eating a larger meal too close to bedtime can result in sleeplessness and restless nights. If you must eat something, make it a light snack (preferably with little-to-no protein).
Another good rule of thumb is to avoid consuming liquids approximately two hours before you go to bed. Doing so will help prevent you from waking up in the wee hours of the morning for a bathroom trip.
#4 Method to Sleep Better Tonight:
Shut down your electronics.
There’s no sugarcoating this one… your smartphone, tablet, laptop, TV, and other electronic devices need to be shut down no later than an hour before bedtime if you want to get better sleep at night.
The bright lights from such devices stimulate your mind (much like coffee and cigarettes) and can trick your subconscious into believing the time is not as late as it actually is.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t entertain yourself right before bed. Instead of using your e-reader, read a physical book under dimmed lamplight (or portable book light).
#5 Method to Sleep Better Tonight:
Cool your environment.
Your body is sensitive to the temperature of its surroundings, especially when it’s trying to shut down for the night.
If your room is too hot or too cold, it can affect your level of sleep and cause you to toss and turn throughout the night.
According to experts, temperatures between 60 and 75°F tend to be sweet spots for higher quality sleep. While temperatures above 75°F and below 54°F tend to be the most disruptive.
Build Yourself Up to Better Sleep
If you’re intimidated by one (or all) of the strategies listed above, don’t fret. You don’t have to implement them all to drastically improve your sleep quality.
Choose the one strategy that fits best for you and commit to following it for the next 30 days. Record how you feel at the end of the month, and if you like the results, incorporate another strategy into the mix.
Keep adding to your pre-sleep routine until you feel you’ve maximized your sleep quality throughout the night!
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