If you are one of the many people who find it hard to get sleep, then we don’t need to tell you how much it can affect you. It’s not just that you feel awful the following day; it can also affect your health and make you age quicker. We should all be aiming to get at least eight hours of good sleep a night, but statistics show that about 35% percent of people get less than seven hours of sleep a day. If you are in that 35% of people who find it difficult to fall asleep, then read these ten little secrets and tips on how to get better sleep.
1. Get into a routine and then stick to it
Our bodies work to internal clocks, which are known as circadian rhythms, and, if you keep changing the time that you go to bed and the time you wake up, you will upset these internal rhythms. Work out a sleeping schedule that you will able to stick to, and stick with it. That way, you will find it much easier to get to sleep.
2. Don’t take gadgets to bed with you
Reading emails in bed, or checking Facebook, is something a lot of people do, but it is a sure fire way of giving you a bad night. You should be winding down and preparing for sleep, so leave the gadgets out of the bedroom. The backlit screens of computers and tablets shine light directly into your eyes and that will upset your internal rhythms by making your body think that it is the daytime. So a good tip on how to get better sleep is to give yourself at least an hour before bedtime without looking a computer screen and you will sleep much better.
3. Don’t exercise just before you go to bed
Exercise makes your heart rate increase, and your metabolism will kick into high gear. This is exactly the opposite if what you need for a good night’s sleep. If you don’t want to keep waking up in the night, the best thing to do is to not do any exercising for at least three hours before you go to bed.
4. Avoid caffeine after midday
Another tip on how to get better sleep is to avoid caffeine after midday. The effect that caffeine has on your body lasts for a lot longer than you think. To make sure that the caffeine is out of your system before you go to bed, avoid drinking any caffeinated drinks after lunchtime. Watch out for those fizzy soda drinks too, a lot of them contain caffeine.
5. Brain dump before you try to get to sleep
For many people, one of the reasons that they can’t sleep is because they are thinking too much about all the things that they have to do. An easy way to help stop this is to write out a list of what is on your mind before you go to bed. Doing a brain dump will put your mind at rest and you will sleep soundly knowing that you have to-do list all ready for you in the morning.
6. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible
This is another great tip on how to get better sleep. If there is any light in your bedroom, your brain will think that it’s the daytime and that will disrupt your sleep patterns. Make your bedroom is as dark and as cosy, as you can. Buy thicker curtains, or line the ones you have, and don’t leave your cell phone charging in your room, because even the light from that can disturb your sleep.
7. Don’t eat late at night
This is one of the most useful tips on how to get better sleep. It can be difficult if you work late, or have a long journey home, but eating a large meal too close to bedtime, will keep you awake at night. While your body is busy digesting the food, you will not be able to sleep, so try not to eat anything too heavy for at least three hours before you go to bed.
8. Keep your bedroom cool
When you go into a deep sleep, your body temperature falls and you can help yourself get to sleep by making that happen sooner. The recommended temperature for a bedroom is just 65 degrees Fahrenheit. That might seem a bit too cold for some people, but it will get your internal body temperature down to a level that will promote a deeper sleep.
9. Don’t use alcohol to get to sleep
Next good tip on how to get better sleep is to never use alcohol to get to sleep. A couple of alcoholic drinks before bedtime will relax you and help you get to sleep, but you will probably be up again in just a few hours. The end result will be that, although you may get to sleep quicker, overall you will get less sleep during the night.
10. Avoid taking naps during the day
If you feel really tired, then a twenty minute nap in the day will seem like a great idea, but you will then probably sleep less at night. If you have got into the habit of taking an afternoon nap, you might have to force yourself not to do it for a while, but once you get used it, you will get a far better quality of sleep at night.