You’re not doomed to go to bed every night. Keep in mind a few simple tips for better sleep, from setting a schedule for sleep hours to including physical activity in your routine. Do you feel sullen or exhausted lately? Perhaps the solution is to sleep better.
Think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep, from work pressure and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges: layoffs, problems in your relationships or illness.
Although you cannot control all the factors involved in your dream, you can adopt habits that stimulate higher quality:
1. Keep a bedtime
Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends, vacations and off days. Being consistent reinforces the sleep-wake body cycle and helps promote a better sleep at night. If you still do not fall asleep in 15 minutes, get up and do something to relax you. Go back to bed when you’re tired.
2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink
Do not go to bed hungry or feeling full; the discomfort can keep you awake. You should also limit what you drink before going to bed, to prevent disruptions to the bathroom that interrupt your sleep.
Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol also deserve caution. Its stimulating effects take hours to disappear and can wreak havoc on the quality of sleep. And although alcohol may make you feel drowsy at first, it may wake you up at night.
3. Create a bedtime ritual
Do the same things every night to tell your body that it is time to disconnect. This can include a hot bath, reading a book or listening to soothing music with dim lights. Relaxing activities can promote better sleep, facilitating the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.
Be careful when using television and other electronic devices as part of your ritual. Some research suggests that the hours in front of the screen or other multimedia devices interfere with sleep.
4. Get comfortable
Condition an ideal sleeping room: ventilated, dark and quiet. Consider using blinds, earplugs, fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.
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The mattress and pillow can also help you sleep better. Since the characteristics of good sheets are subjective, choose the ones that are most comfortable for you. If you share the bed, make sure there is enough room for both of you. If you have children or animals, try to set limits on how often they sleep with you or insist on separating the sleeping quarters.
5. Limit naps during the day
Long naps can interfere with sleep at night, especially if you suffer from insomnia or your sleep is of poor quality. If you choose to take a nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10 or 30 minutes and do it during the afternoon.
If you work at night, you will need to make an exception to the rules on daytime sleep. In this case, keep the curtains closed so that the sunlight, which resets your internal clock, does not interrupt your sleep.
6. Include physical activity in your routine
Regular exercise can promote a better sleep, helping you sleep faster and enjoying a deeper sleep. Time is important. If you exercise too late, close to bedtime, you may be too energized to fall asleep. If this affects you, exercise at an earlier time.
7. Manage stress
When you have too much to do and too many things to think about, your dream is likely to suffer the consequences. To help restore calm, consider healthy ways to manage stress. Start with the basics, how to organize yourself, set priorities and delegate tasks. Give yourself permission to pause when you need it. Share some good moments of laughter with an old friend. Before going to bed, write down what you have in mind and forget it until the next day.
When to Contact Your Doctor
Almost everyone has an occasional night when they can not sleep, but if you often have trouble sleeping, go to the doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying cause can help you improve the sleep you deserve.
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