Getting enough sleep isn’t something that comes easy to a lot of people. You might struggle to fall asleep, or you may find it hard to stay asleep, waking up continuously throughout the night. Sleep deprivation can have terrible effects on your physical and mental health, so it’s imperative that you work hard to get the hours you need. Sometimes, the simplest changes can have the biggest impact.
Keep reading to discover the easy lifestyle changes you can make that will drastically improve your sleep each night.
Upgrade Your Mattress
As suggested by Lifehacker.com, changing your mattress to a better one can massively help with your sleep quality. Not having the right firmness can actually do you more harm than good. Side sleepers will benefit from a softer mattress, and front and back sleepers will need a firmer one. This way, no matter what position you sleep in, your body will be fully supported, reducing aches and pains. Typically, if you keep waking up at the night, it’s because your body isn’t comfortable. Really a mattress should be replaced every 6-8 years, so try taking a look at your mattress and seeing if it’s about time to upgrade it.
Cut Out Caffeine
We’re all guilty of reaching for the coffee pot as soon as we wake up to try and get some energy for the day. However, too much caffeine can make it impossible for your body to relax and go to sleep. You don’t have to cut out caffeine completely, but as a stimulant, you should only consume it when necessary. This means no late-night coffees unless they’re decaffeinated! You should also be careful of tea as some of them can contain nearly as much caffeine as a coffee, so don’t assume it’s fine to have before bed. Try opting for herbal or fruity teas in the evening. Even better would be to go for a tea with chamomile or valerian in it as these are natural plants that promote sleep.
It can be tricky to eat early in the evening, especially if you work late. But having a stomach full of food before bed can make it hard for your body to shut off and rest. Try to avoid heavy, fatty meals before bed. If you’re really wanting something late in the evening, it’s best to go for a healthy snack instead. Sugar can also act as a stimulant and keep you awake, so don’t go hunting for a chocolatey midnight snack! If you suffer from heartburn, fatty or spicy foods can be the culprit, so it’s wise to cut them out of your evening meals or make sure to eat them early.
Exercise is a great way to tire yourself out, so you might think it’s a good idea to do it just before going to bed. However, this might not be the case. After you exercise, your body needs time to recuperate. This means if you go to an intense gym class late at night, your body won’t be able to relax and unwind because it’s still trying to recover from the exercise. It’s still a good idea to get moving earlier in the day though as regular exercise has been shown to help with insomnia.
Create A Schedule
If you really want to improve your sleep, you need to try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. This may seem like an impossible task, but if you create a sleep schedule that works for you, you’ll definitely see the benefits. Your schedule should also include the hours leading up to going to bed too. Set aside some time in the evening to focus on relaxing your body and calming your mind. This will allow you to get yourself into the right mindset for sleeping and help you naturally fall asleep.
Optimise Your Bedroom
As well as sticking to a good sleep schedule, you also need to focus on your actual bedroom. Try removing all electronics as looking at screens before bed can decrease the quality of your sleep. Make sure that you keep the temperature of your room perfect too. The ideal temperature to fall asleep to is between 15.6°C and 19.4°C as it’s just warm enough to stop you from shivering, but it’s cool enough to not overheat you. You might want to check out different plants that provide you with lots of oxygen as well as this has been proven to help improve your sleep quality too. Really you just want to make your bedroom fit for its actual purpose, which is sleeping.
If you’re finding it hard to sleep, don’t give up! These tips are simple enough to implement and they’ll fit right in with your daily routine. Spend some time figuring out which lifestyle changes you can make and you’ll definitely see how much better your sleep can be.