Getting the proper amount of sleep is imperative to your overall health and well-being. How well you sleep depends upon your activity level, diet, and what you do before hopping into bed. You might be sabotaging your chances of a good night's sleep without even knowing it! Here are our tips to help you catch some zzz's.
CUT OUT AFTERNOON CAFFEINE
This first tip isn't exactly a part of your bedtime routine, but it sure does impact your sleep! Caffeine does affect people differently, but if you're having difficulty getting a good night's sleep, try to cut out that afternoon coffee. It might seem harmless, but caffeine can stay in your system for up to 12 hours! Try to avoid coffee, tea, and soda in the afternoon or switch to decaf.
AVOID LATE NIGHT MEALS
The hour just before sleep should be spent as "wind down" time. If you have a meal within that time period, you aren't allowing your body to prepare for sleep. Try to have dinner at least two hours before going to bed, which will give your body enough time to digest before it starts to wind down for the night.
Some people think that because alcohol is a depressant, it will slow your body down and help you achieve better sleep. That late night glass of wine will have you feeling drowsy in no time, right? Wrong! Drinking alcohol before might make you sleepy, but it won't help you achieve a restful sleep. Alcohol affects your REM sleep, meaning you aren't getting the restorative sleep you need.
Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol means you'll have no problem focusing on proper hydration. By consuming the right amount of water per day, you are helping your body prep for sleep. A goal to strive for is 1/2 ounce to an ounce of water per pound you weigh. Just remember, guzzling a big glass of water right before bed might mean a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night!
STOP USING CELL PHONES RIGHT BEFORE BED
Many studies have shown that the use of electronic devices before bed negatively affects your sleep. Any light-emitting device actually tricks your body into thinking that it is day-time, making it difficult for your body to go into rest mode. Put away your cell phone and tablets at least an hour before bed, and curl up with a good book instead.
USE YOUR PHONE'S SLEEP MODE
Instead of just putting your phone away an hour before bed, put it on sleep mode. You are most likely getting numerous notifications all throughout the night. Even if those little beeps and buzzes aren't completely waking you up, they can still disturb your sleep. If you're worried you might miss an important call, most phones have the option to silence notifications while still receiving calls/texts from select contacts. Take advantage of those settings so you will only be woken up if needed!
Do you have any other tips to help achieve a restful sleep? Let us know in the comments!