Sleep is essential to good health, yet it doesn’t come easily to everyone. Even if you’re able to hit the prescribed target of 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, you might still find yourself dragging if the quality of your sleep isn’t up to par.
Here are five simple but powerful tips to improve sleep quality. Incorporate some or all of these tips and see how much more rested you feel.
If you have kids, there’s a good chance that you developed a sleep routine when they were babies to encourage them to sleep and stay asleep. The same idea works for adults!
A sleep routine helps your body recognize when it’s time to sleep. It regulates your internal clock, which helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep until morning.
Your routine might include things like turning off screens, reading for a few minutes, journaling, stretching, dimming the lights, or taking a bath.
Your routine is unique to you, but the most important thing is to be as consistent as possible so your body can recognize that this is when it’s time to prepare for sleep. Going to bed and waking up around the same time each day will also help your internal clock adjust, so sleep becomes easier.
Make sure your bedroom is an ideal environment for sleep. You want to feel calm and relaxed, with no distractions.
In the evening, try to limit bright lights. This includes your phone, TV and computer screens. This helps your body recognize that it is nighttime and calms your mind. In the morning, expose yourself to a little natural light. This helps your body recognize that it’s morning and time to wake up.
Your room should be a comfortable temperature. It’s much more difficult to fall and stay asleep if you’re too cold or too hot.
Finally, consider using a white noise machine or fan to drown out outside noises.
If you have an afternoon coffee habit, that could be the culprit of your sleep problems. Drinking caffeine too late in the day can make it more difficult to fall asleep and disrupt your sleep quality.
Try to avoid caffeine after a certain point in the day. Many experts recommend no caffeine after 3pm, but a different time may be better for you. If you still want to enjoy your afternoon pick-me-up, try switching to half-caff, decaf, or tea.
Increasing your water intake, going for a walk, or eating a light snack can also help you stay energized in the afternoon.
This sleep tip depends on the person. For some, exercising before bed can help with relaxation and falling asleep. However for others, exercise has a more energizing effect.
If your schedule allows, try experimenting with the time of day you exercise. An early morning workout might energize you for the day, and allow more time for a calming sleep routine at night.
Some of us struggle with going to sleep simply because it’s difficult to shut off our minds. If you find yourself worrying, combing through your to-do list for the next day, or unable to calm your mind for other reasons, try adding meditation or yoga to your bedtime routine.
There’s a great selection of bedtime yoga flows online, whether you need something that lasts only a few minutes or a little longer. These flows mostly involve stretching and deep breathing, which both help to calm the mind.
If you’re new to meditation, try to find a guided practice. These lead you through meditation and help to keep your mind from wandering so you can quickly reach relaxation.
Podcasts are another great option for winding down. Just try to avoid any kind of topic that may stress you out. Look for podcasts that play soft sounds or tell long, calming stories. In other words, the more boring the podcast, the better.
Sleep aids might seem intimidating, but plenty of natural, safe supplement options are available that simply facilitate relaxation and better sleep. Of course, it’s most important to choose an effective product without any negative side effects or risk of dependence.
One easy-to-use option is this adaptogen supplement from Naked Recovery. This supplement contains six US-grown adaptogenic mushrooms, tart cherry, and lemon balm extract. If you’re wondering, adaptogenic mushrooms aren’t the same as psychedelic mushrooms.
Adaptogens have been used holistically in Eastern medicine for centuries, and simply help your body improve how it reacts to stress.
Incorporating an adaptogen supplement into your evening routine may make it easier to relax and fall asleep.