Getting enough quality sleep is incredibly important for your health and well-being. When you don’t get adequate sleep, it can negatively impact your mood, energy levels, concentration, immune system, and more. Unfortunately, many people struggle with poor sleep and insomnia. There are a number of steps you can take to improve your sleep so you wake up feeling refreshed and energized every morning.
Let’s go over some tips that can help improve your sleep quality and duration.
1. Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule
One of the most important habits you can maintain to improve your sleep is to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This goes for weekends and even the holidays. It will help the body regulate its internal clock and circadian rhythms, which promote better sleep. Try to keep your bedtime within the same 30-minute window each night.
Maintaining this regularity is essential, and part of that involves ensuring your sleep environment is conducive to rest. The best way to ensure you have a better sleep experience is by upgrading your mattress. Choose a mattress that has a hybrid construction and cooling technologies, like a Winkbed mattress, to ensure a sound sleep every night.
If you’re considering an upgrade to your mattress, go for a hassle-free delivery and setup service. With White Glove Delivery for Winkbeds, your new mattress is not only delivered but also set up professionally.
By ensuring your sleep environment is perfectly set up – such as with a comfortable and supportive mattress – you’ll likely find it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed. This consistency not only aids in quicker sleep but also helps minimize the impact of those occasional nights of poorer sleep.
2. Reserve Your Bed for Sleeping
Condition your body to associate your bed with sleep by using it only for rest and intimacy. Avoid television, work, and phones in bed. The brain starts to associate the bedroom with wakefulness and alertness if you multitask in bed, making it harder to wind down at night.
Whenever you have difficulty falling asleep, get out of bed and do a relaxing activity until you feel drowsy. Listen to music, read, or do light stretches. Lying awake in bed for too long can create an unhealthy connection between your sleeping environment and anxiety.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, get out of bed after 15-20 minutes. Engage in a calming activity until sleepy, then return to bed. This prevents the cycle of tossing and turning when unable to fall back asleep.
3. Limit Daytime Naps
Daytime naps may seem refreshing, but they can disrupt your sleep cycle and keep you up at night. Limit naps to 30 minutes or less during the early afternoon. Taking longer naps or napping too close to bedtime can negatively impact your ability to fall and stay asleep.
If you feel like you need a nap due to sleep deprivation, try to get more sleep at night first. If you must nap, keep it brief and make sure you have at least 5 hours between your nap and your regular bedtime. The shorter nap won’t put you into deeper stages of sleep that can interfere with nighttime rest.
Avoid napping after 3 p.m. if possible. The later nap may make it harder to fall asleep at your normal bedtime. However, a short, early afternoon nap may help boost focus, productivity, and mood if you’re sleep-deprived. Just keep naps limited to 30 minutes max.
4. Watch What You Eat and Drink Before Bed
To improve sleep quality, watch what and when you eat and drink before bed.
- Avoid large meals close to bedtime – Large meals too close to bed can lead to digestive issues and discomfort when trying to sleep. Eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before bed.
- Limit sugar, refined carbs, and heavy foods – Sugary and heavy foods spike blood sugar and energy levels, making it harder to wind down.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine – Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that interfere with sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster but causes sleep disruptions later.
- Avoid drinking too many fluids – Limit fluid intake 1-2 hours before bed to prevent frequent urination throughout the night. Dehydration can also cause sleep disruptions, so drink enough earlier in the day.
- Have a light snack – A light snack 30-60 minutes before bed, like whole grain crackers, turkey, hummus, or nuts, can help prevent disruptive hunger and blood sugar dips during sleep.
- Drink chamomile tea – Chamomile tea contains apigenin, an antioxidant that promotes sleepiness and reduces insomnia by binding to certain receptors in the brain.
5. Optimize Your Sleep Environment
Many people don’t realize that their sleep environment can greatly impact both sleep quality and quantity.
- Temperature – Keep your bedroom between 60-67°F (15-19°C). Most people sleep best in a cool room.
- Noise level – Use a sound machine, earplugs, or a white noise app if needed to block disruptive noises. Keep the room as quiet as possible.
- Light – Install room darkening shades or an eye mask to block outdoor light. Avoid screens and overhead lighting before bed; use a dim lamp instead.
- Clutter – A clean, organized, relaxing environment is ideal for sleep. Keep your bedroom clear of clutter and work materials.
Evaluate your sleep environment and make adjustments to conditions that may be hindering quality rest. The ideal setting is cool, dark, quiet, and cozy.
Improving your sleep quality and duration requires making changes to your daily habits and sleep environment. Start with the most important sleep hygiene tips, like sticking to a consistent sleep schedule and limiting naps. Also, manage stress and avoid screens before bed. Not all the tips may be necessary – simply focus on the changes that target your specific sleep issues.
Give these tips a try for a month and see if you notice better sleep and increased daytime energy. Quality rest on a regular basis is foundational for your health and happiness.