At one time or another we have all struggled with getting to sleep, and staying asleep. Once you have been through a few night’s like this you never take a restful sleep for granted again.
There are a few things you can do to set yourself up for a good sleep. They are easy to do, an unfortunately, easy to ignore.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
If you don’t fall asleep within about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and do something relaxing. Read or listen to soothing music. Go back to bed when you’re tired.
- Create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Exposure to light might make it more challenging to fall asleep. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.
- Pay attention to what you eat before bed: don’t over eat, or go to bed hungry. Be aware of your caffeine intake, and watch out for nicotine and alcohol, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.
- Naps: while it may be tempting to take an afternoon couch snooze on a rainy day, it can interfere with your body’s schedule and may prevent feeling drowsy when it’s time for bed.
- Physical activity: being active outdoors during the day will contribute to a good night’s sleep, but high intensity exercise too close to bedtime can be detrimental.
- Bed. Of course you need a mattress and foundation that make it easy for you to go to sleep and stay asleep without a lot of tossing and turning. (Naturally the experts at Skaff will help you with this.) There are also innovations in the latest sleep systems that will help you track your sleep and offer good input on how to get better rest.