Getting the proper amount of sleep each night is something many sacrifice in order to get other things in life done, but in reality, few things are more important to a happy, healthy existence. Sleeping well can be challenging, but there are several ways that might help make it an easier process.
Pay Attention to Eating
It’s essential to come up with a consistent eating plan, as optimal sleep is difficult when going to bed too hungry or too full. Align the last meal of the day so that it’s properly settled in the digestive system, but not so much that hunger is already starting to return.
Establish a Sleep Schedule
Sleeping well is easier when done at a consistent time every night. While it may be tempting to stay up and sleep later on weekends, it’s important to go to bed at roughly the same time every day. This allows the body to develop a repeatable routine and reinforces the ever important sleep-wake cycle. Don’t try to force sleep, however. If sleep does not come within 15 minutes after lying down for the night, get up and do something distracting until the feeling of sleepiness hits.
Create a Good Environment for Sleeping
Typically, sleeping is best done in a cool, quiet and dark environment. Natural settings may not allow for this trifecta to occur, but there are always options to combat such problems. For instance, muffle noise with earplugs or earmuffs or wear blinders to deflect a harsh light if sleeping after the sun rises. If there are difficulties keeping a room cool, try adding a floor fan to regulate the temperature better.
Develop a Night Routine
Getting in the right mood for sleep is largely psychological. By setting up a series of activities that are repeated every night, a ritual of sorts is formed. This ritual can create the right mindset for a full night of good, restful sleep. Comforting activities such as taking a warm bath, listening to soothing music or reading are excellent ways to induce a feeling of sleepiness.
Regular physical activity aids sleep in multiple ways. Not only does it help tire a body out from the simple physical effort involved, it also relieves built up stress as well. Too much stress is one of the main factors involved in poor sleeping, and reducing it plays a huge role in being a more rested individual.
Boxer and dachshund asleep in a chair by Ned Freed