4 Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep Naturally
Posted on Monday, January 20th, 2014 at 8:00 am
Not only is it something we can’t live without, but it definitely tops our list of favorite things to do: sleep. Sleeping is key to getting the most out of your day, but a lot of us have a difficult time getting the required amount of hours. Not getting enough sleep can lead to serious consequences such as putting you at risk for stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and so much more. So, to help you get more hours and better quality sleep we’ve come up with a few easy tips to implement:
How to Get Better Sleep
1. Have a Bedtime
Thought you had grown out of having a bedtime? Nope! Sticking to a regular bedtime and wake up time will reinforce your body’s internal sleep and wake cycle. Unfortunately this means weekends too. However, there is a an exception that applies. If you fail to fall asleep within 15-20 minutes you’ll want to get up. Instead of restlessly lying in bed get up and do something relaxing and non-strenuous. When you find yourself becoming tired return to bed and try to sleep again.
2. Cut the Caffeine
Stop hyperventilating. When we say cut the caffeine we only mean after a certain time. Caffeine is key to getting most of us up during the morning, but after 12 pm it’s actually doing harm to your night’s rest. Caffeine can inhibit deep sleep which is key to recharging you brain and body. Since you should be avoiding caffeine in the afternoon this also means avoiding foods containing caffeine: chocolate, some pain relievers, etc.
3. Avoid Naps
Unfortunately it’s true, napping can lead to trouble falling asleep later in the night. However, if you feel like napping is a life-or-death situation, keep them short; 20 minutes or less. If you find yourself feeling sleepy in the afternoon try doing something active; walking, exercising, talking on the phone, etc.
Not only is getting fit probably one of your new year’s resolutions, but exercise helps you sleep better! Exercising regularly has been shown to improve the quality of sleep when it is not done too close to bedtime. Try to finish any sort of heavy physical activity 3-4 hours before sleeping. If you do need to do something physical at night try some of these low-impact activities: yoga, tai chi, etc.