As we all know, sleep is crucial for our physical and mental health. It’s when your body recovers from the day, repairs itself and prepares for the next day.
But how do you get a better night’s sleep? Well, many factors can affect your sleep quality — from how much light you’re exposed to at night to what you eat before bedtime. Sleeping smarter is about making the most of your time in bed.
If you’re struggling with sleep problems or feel like your sleep needs a boost, follow these six tips to sleep better:
Switch Off Your Mind Before Bed
Ground yourself before bed by taking deep breaths from your diaphragm (not shallow breathing from your chest) to bring oxygen into the bloodstream and calm the mind. You can also relax by meditating or completing a “brain dump”. Studies show writing your to-do list before sleeping might support more restful sleep. Journaling activities are a great way to dump your emotions, worries, and to-do lists onto paper, so your mind is clear by the end of the day.
Get the Lights Low
Turn off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light from your phone, tablet and computer screen suppresses melatonin production and disrupts your circadian rhythm (the internal clock that regulates sleep). Plus, turning off screens helps reduce stress in general — so no more playing Candy Crush until midnight! If you struggle with light during the night, try blackout curtains to create a darker environment in your bedroom.
Take the Right Supplements
Some people turn to melatonin to improve sleep. While some have poor side effects with high doses, a smaller dose paired with the right ingredients might aid sleep naturally. For example, this cannabis dip features a perfect blend of CBN and melatonin to support sleep and help you doze off quicker. CBN is a naturally occurring compound in the cannabis plant. It is also non-intoxicating (so you won’t get high), and it’s known to help people relax and wind down before bed. Natural nutritional supplements like CBD or CBN might naturally induce a sleepy and relaxed state.
Choose the Right Exercise
Exercise is often thought of as an energy-boosting activity, but it can also help you sleep better too. Choosing low-intensity movement before bed may ease symptoms of anxiety, promote physical ease and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Gentle stretching and yoga are great for releasing the day thus far and any tension you’ve been holding onto.
Digestion Before Bed
We all love a late-night snack every now and then; however, it’s essential to give your body time to eat its last meal of the day. Eating more than two hours before bedtime may disrupt sleep patterns as your body needs time to digest your meal. What’s more, be mindful about which foods you consume in the evening, as some will cause your energy levels to spike rather than simply curb your cravings.
More Sunlight During the Day!
The sunlight helps regulate your body clock, which makes it easier to fall and stay asleep at night. If you work all day indoors, take a break at lunchtime or during an afternoon break and go outside for 15 minutes or so.
Final Thoughts on Sleeping Smarter and Creating a Bedtime Routine
We’ve covered six ways to sleep smarter according to science. The best way to achieve better rest is to set a schedule and try to stick to it. Consistency is important for improving sleep quality from a regular sleeping pattern and creating a bedtime routine. Naturally, you’ll have days when you sleep in on weekends and do not complete your evening rituals, but try to stick to your routine as often as possible for the best results. Your body will start to expect this pattern, making it easier and more enjoyable to fall asleep. Use the above tips to curate a bedtime routine that suits you, including mindfulness activities, gentle stretching, and taking the right supplements.