8 Surprising Tips for Better Sleep
Most adults don’t get as much sleep as they should. For optimal health, you should get between six and eight hours of sleep every night. In the modern world full of screen time, work stress, and sleep disorders, that six to eight-hour range can seem like a dream.
Most people know the basics of good sleep hygiene. You’re supposed to avoid screens and caffeine before bedtime. However, we have some lesser-known tricks to help you enter deep sleep and stay asleep. To achieve a healthy night of sleep every night, you can follow these eight uncommon tips for better sleep.
Take a Relaxing Bath Before Bed
Baths are great for melting away the stress of your day. Warm water calms your body and mind and allows you to relax. You can add bath products like calming bath salt soaks to enhance your experience. If you need a healthy way to unwind at the end of a stressful day, consider a hot bath.
Relaxation is not the only reason baths can help you sleep better. Your body enters “sleep mode” when your temperature rises a few hours before bedtime. It’s best to take a warm bath one to two hours before you plan to sleep. This can help your nervous system calm down for the day and enter deeper sleep.
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Eat an Early Dinner
Eating large amounts of food right before bedtime can prevent you from falling asleep. A full stomach is uncomfortable and can lead to digestive symptoms if you lie down soon after a big meal. Your body is busy processing the energy from the food you’ve just eaten, making it harder for your brain to enter sleep.
Meal planning can help with this problem. If you are a frequent late-night snacker or tend to eat big meals right before bed, plan your meals for earlier times throughout the day. Try to eat dinner at least two to three hours before you go to bed so that you can get a better night of rest.
Keep Your Room Cool and Comfortable
You may not know that sleeping in a hot room can cause problems with falling asleep and staying asleep. Although a higher body temperature does help you sleep better, your external temperature matters, too. When you feel cool or even slightly cold, it encourages you to snuggle under your covers and get comfortable.
Try keeping your bedroom temperature a little cooler than the rest of the house. You can use a combination of lightweight and heavy blankets on your bed. That way, if you get cold in the middle of the night, you can simply cover up and go back to sleep. Avoid sleeping in hot, stuffy rooms.
Spend Time in the Sun
It may seem confusing, but spending time in bright sunlight during the day can help you get a better night’s rest. Your body operates on an internal clock called your circadian rhythm. Exposure to sunlight tells your body when it’s time to be awake and when it’s time to sleep. If you get outside during the brightest parts of the day, your body is more likely to feel tired later on.
A lot of people feel tired after a long day outside. This is part of the reason you sleep better after outdoor activities. Your circadian rhythm relies on the sun to work properly. With so many blue lights and stimulating devices in our world today, it’s important to get back to following nature’s clock.
Many people feel more energized right after a workout. However, exercise is very important for your sleep quality. When you exercise, your body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals promote better sleep later on and help you relax.
You also tire your body out by doing physical activity. If you work a job where you sit most of the day, exercise is especially beneficial. You can give your body a physical outlet for energy while also boosting positive mood, relaxation, and stress relief.
Don’t Try Too Hard to Fall Asleep
This tip might be very surprising. When you lie down and try to fall asleep for hours on end, your mind becomes overstimulated. You probably start to feel stressed about not sleeping. Sleep experts agree that the best thing to do in these cases is get up and do a relaxing activity.
You can read a book, meditate, journal, or do another calming task. You will naturally start to feel tired while you do this. Instead of stressing your mind and body by trying to force yourself to sleep, try directing your attention to something relaxing. You might be surprised by how quickly you fall asleep afterward.
Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breaths aren’t just for meditation and yoga. Your nervous system relaxes and starts winding down for sleep when you practice deep breathing. This is one of the best natural ways to calm down, relieve stress, and fall asleep. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try to slow and deepen your breaths.
There are many breathing exercises available online that you can try to help you fall asleep. Mindfulness meditation usually involves deep breathing. This is where you let your thoughts pass by without judgment.
A combination of deep breathing and meditation can help your mind wind down for the night, and you can rest peacefully.