Far too many of us have known the desperation of lying awake at night, knowing morning will come far too soon, starting a day of exhaustion. But there are steps to take to minimize the likelihood of tossing and turning and even allow you to wake refreshed and energized. Here are seven tips for getting the best sleep of your life.
Ban blue light
It may be tempting to catch up on your favorite show, a funny video or Facebook as you wind down, but the blue light from your phone may be causing more harm than you think. According to Web MD, those "short waves of blue light may interfere with sleep." Turn off the TV, computer, or anything else that emits blue light an hour before going to sleep or you may compromise your sleep altogether.
Stick to a sleep schedule
Do you look forward to a nice weekend sleep-in? The Mayo Clinic doesn't think that's such a good idea. "Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night."
Getting regular exercise during the day makes for a better night. Just don't try working out right before you go to bed, or you might be too energized to go to sleep.
Watch what you eat and drink
If you drink anything containing caffeine, limit it to earlier in the day. Even eating chocolate in the evening can disrupt sleep. While a little warm milk may help you doze off, hot chocolate has a counter effect. According to WebMD, a light evening snack of complex carbs and dairy help induce sleep.
Take some time to wind down properly
A bedtime routine isn't just a good idea for kids, the National Sleep Foundation recommends a bedtime ritual for adults, as well. A nice ritual such as reading, taking a warm bath, listening to soft music or meditating helps separate sleep time from the activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety and brings closure to your day.
Evaluate your room
You may be a big fan of design and colors in your bedroom, but it's best to design your room around what your body needs to sleep comfortably. Sleep.org recommends setting the thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees and removing outside noises that may disrupt your sleep. A pillow for your knees may help reduce lower back pain, and finding the right pillow and sheets that are soft and comfortable, even hypoallergenic can make all the difference.
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