5 Strategies to Sleep Better Every Single Night

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Sleep is so important to our health, wellbeing and relationships, yet many of us struggle to get enough. Quality sleep usually involves about seven and a half hours of uninterrupted slumber. Many parents struggle to achieve this, especially when children are very young. Sleep doesn’t just offer rest and relaxation. It also allows the mind to sort all of the day’s experiences into useful memories. Sleeping well helps us make better sense of the world around us.

Of course, even people with no children or reasons to be disturbed in the night can struggle with sleep. You might find it difficult to nod off, or challenging to stay asleep for the whole night. Missing just one night of quality sleep can impair your focus and your physical response times. Miss a couple more, and your entire metabolism and mental health might be suffering.

If you’re looking for ways to master the art of sleeping, then you will need to adopt a strategy to improve your approach to it. There are 5 key strategies you can try to help you sleep better every single night. Not all will work all the time, as you can’t control everything all at once. But they can certainly help you have the best chance at achieving quality sleep from day one. Try one of these 5 strategies to sleep better every single night:

1. Diet
Changing your diet might help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Some changes could even help you stay asleep more comfortably. The time for a last meal before bed is hotly debated among dieters. But it seems if you want to fall asleep and stay asleep, then your meal might best be finished about two hours before you want lights out. This leaves you feeling satiated and also sustains you throughout the night until breakfast time.

Not eating enough, such as when you’re on a calorie restricted diet, can make it difficult to sleep. It’s a fine balance, and it’s one only you can determine which is the best course of action. Some people say leaving their sweetest meal to the end of the day can also help them sleep. Of course, others would say that sugar at this time would act as a stimulant and keep them awake!

Other stimulants to avoid include caffeine and additives like E-numbers. Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, chocolate, and some soda drinks. If you struggle to drop off to sleep stop taking caffeine from about 3 pm. If you find that you have quite vivid or disturbing dreams at night, consider cutting out cheese in the evening too. Lettuce, warm milk, and salmon are thought to be good choices for the evening to help you drift off to sleep gently.

2. Exercise
When you’re tired and fatigued, the last thing you want to do is exercise. But research suggests a brisk walk or jog in the fresh air each day can aid good quality sleep. Staying indoors or in the office during daylight hours is thought to be harmful. You need some exposure to natural light to set up your own hormonal responses for natural sleep. This might be why night shift workers struggle with their slumber so much.

Lying down is one of the physical triggers your mind needs to help you fall to sleep. If you lie down in front of the TV, chances are you’ll feel quite tired. When you get up, your body might even be fooled into thinking it has had sleep, making it tricky to drift off later. Try to stay active for as many hours a day as you can. This will also help to improve your metabolism and can boost weight loss programs too.

Does having a vigorous workout help with sleep? No, it might not be best. Working out really hard can exhaust you, leaving you too tired for a natural sleep pattern. It might also increase the risk of you becoming injured. Aching limbs and pain can stop you from sleeping as you won’t be able to get comfortable. Muscles that are overworked often become inflamed. This can lead to swelling and further discomfort. The irony is that you need quality sleep to heal again!

3. Perfect Environment For Sleep
If you’ve struggled with sleep for a while, it might be time to strip your bedroom bare and start again. You might even be better off choosing a different bedroom in the house altogether. Some people like to sleep with their head in the East, while others like to lie North to South. Why not turn your bed to see if this can help? The bed itself might be part of the problem. Check out this site and replace the mattress with a better one that is suited to your sleeping needs.

Your bedroom should have fresh air in it every single day. You don’t have to sleep with the window open, but you should open it up for twenty or thirty minutes at some point during the day to refresh the air. Scents can help you sleep too. Consider sweeter aromas or lavender to help you feel more relaxed. Finally, consider the color of your bedroom. Lighter pastels are ideal. Stay away from busy patterns, and keep mirrors out of your eye line from the bed.

Is your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark? These are the three requirements for any sleeping space. The temperature should be just a degree or so cooler than standard room temperature. That way you can snuggle down into your covers. It should be quiet, so no noises disturb you in the night. It helps you fall asleep if there are no sounds to tune into. As for the darkness? Blackout blinds are perfect for this. That way, you can sleep past dawn during the weeks when the sun gets up too early.

4. Bedtime Routine
A strict bedtime routine that you repeat every night no matter what can help you fall asleep more quickly. Start with a warm bath. When you get out of it, your body temperature will quickly drop, signalling the neurochemicals in your brain to prepare you for sleep. Avoid screens after your bath. Instead, choose a favorite book to read. When you dress for bed, stick to the same order of events. You might brush your teeth and your hair first. Moisturizing might come last. Stick with it.

Once you’ve climbed into bed, choose a softer lighting. The color temperature of the bulb should be warm. This will make your room feel cozier and warmer. The lower light might also play a part in preparing your mind for sleep. Choose bedding that is soft and comfortable. Sometimes a heavier weight can help you feel secure. Pick a pillow that doesn’t push your neck up too high.

Wait for your eyes to feel heavy from the reading before you put down your book, turn off the light, and roll over for sleep. Sticking to the same routine or actions every night helps your body and mind prepare for sleep. Each of these events triggers the right response to soothe you to slumber.

5. Stress Relief
One of the main reasons so many of us struggle with sleep is stress. We experience stress at work, at home, in our relationships, our travels, and more. Relieving this stress before bedtime is important. Stress tenses the muscles, raises the heart rate and busies the mind. If your mind is racing at bedtime, keep a notepad and pencil next to the bed. Jot down each of the thoughts that come to mind.

Jotting them down soothes the mind because you are acknowledging your worries. You’re assuring yourself you won’t forget and that you’ll deal with them in the morning because you’ve written them down. You might need to do this every night for a few days. But over time, your mind will relax, knowing that bedtime isn’t the time to address your worries. Did you know that sleep actually prepares your mind for the day ahead? Trust it will help you have a better morning.

Tense muscles from stress can make it very difficult to fall asleep. Regular massages can help reduce the tension, and it can also help relieve the stress you’re feeling. If you’re suffering from insomnia, book in for a couple of massage sessions. Head massages, neck massages, and back massages can all be enormously helpful here. You’re also taking a little time out for you - self-indulgences like this should be guilt free when you lead a busy life.

Reduce your heart rate in the evenings with Yoga practice or mental meditations. These can help you to focus on your breath and the feelings inside your body. Learning to control them can help you mentally as well as physically.

Sleep is so important for every function in the body. And a lack of sleep can be incredibly dangerous. Your focus and concentration might not be enough when you’re driving your kids to school or making that high-value deal at work. Try some of these strategies to improve your sleep quality, starting tonight. Sleep well.

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