You know the feeling: you wake up in the morning and your eyes feel heavy. Your body feels like it's been hit by a truck. And that list of things you have to do is staring at you from across the room, daring you to get out of bed. While sometimes it's impossible to avoid waking up tired, there are things you can do during the day to improve your quality of sleep, so that when its time for bed, you'll be able to drift off easily and wake up refreshed in the morning.
Fortunately, improving your sleep quality may be as simple as improving your sleep hygiene. Just like dental hygiene involves regularly brushing and flossing to maintain your teeth, sleep hygiene is all about practicing good habits that help you get good sleep consistently. Here are our top tips for getting better sleep:
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, but don’t eat right before bed.
Take a hot bath or shower before bed to help relax your muscles and prepare you for sleep.
Transform your bedroom into a dark, quiet, and cool oasis. Set your thermostat to somewhere in the low- to mid-60 degrees Fahrenheit, and use blackout curtains or a white noise machine to further relax your senses.
Stop watching television and using your phone or computer for at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Invest in a comfortable mattress, pillows, and sheets.
Exercise regularly—but not late at night.
Try meditation or yoga. Deep breathing relaxes your body and slows your heart rate, lowering stress levels and improving sleep quality.
Relaxing music can help calm your mind and body.
A relaxing bedtime routine could include a bath, some gentle stretches, and reading a book.
Get outside in nature during daylight hours: Being around plants and trees can actually help us sleep better at night! Researchers believe this is because natural light helps regulate our circadian rhythms—our internal clocks that tell our bodies when to sleep and when to wake—which makes falling asleep easier.
If you find that none of these suggestions are working for you, it may be time to discuss your sleep issues with a healthcare provider. You may require sleep testing to help diagnose an underlying condition to improve your overall health.
When sleep specialists and other experts talk about the importance of sleep, they aren’t joking around. A good night’s slumber is not only important for your health and well-being; it’s critical to your productivity throughout the day. And while improving your sleep isn’t always a quick fix, following these simple steps can help you get better sleep.