We all know that a good night’s sleep is crucial for optimal function throughout the day – it can enhance our ability to concentrate, increase productivity and help to improve our mood.As much as we would all like to consistently get a good night’s sleep, many individuals struggle with unpredictable sleep patterns. While some are diagnosed with sleep disorders, for others, making some small changes could improve the quality of sleep and allow one to have a more restful sleep.
Follow these simple strategies to begin to develop better sleep patterns.
1) Stick to a routine: Pick a time to wake up every morning and a time to go to bed every night and try to maintain this as much as possible. In addition, avoid watching TV, using the computer/phone, working or bright lights 30 minutes prior to going to bed as these things tend to keep you at an alert state. Instead , choose to spend some time reading, listen to soft music, take a warm bath or enjoy a warm herbal tea.
2) Modify your evening eating habits: You should allow three hours of digestion time after a meal before attempting to go to sleep. If you need a small snack before heading to bed, try nuts, yogurt, fruit or vegetables. It is also important to avoid caffeine, spicy and highly acidic foods in the evening as they could interfere with your sleep.
3) Make your bedroom a haven: Avoid eating or working in your bedroom. Allow this to be a space designed for rest and relaxation. In addition, make sure the space is sleep friendly. Keeping your room at a cool temperature and the ability to make the room dark for night, will allow for a better sleep. If you struggle with noises, try ear plugs or white noise such as a fan.
Do something active each day: 30 minutes of daily activity can greatly enhance your ability to sleep well at night. However, it is best to exercise earlier in the day. Avoid an intense workout within 2 to 3 hours of bedtime as this can actually stimulate the body. If you choose to exercise in the evening, try gentle stretching or yoga as these can help to promote sleep.