In the hectic world that we live in, it can be challenging to escape the stress and technology that invade us at all hours of the day. Despite all of the lifestyle and technological changes over the past 20 years, though, the need for high-quality sleep has remained a constant.
Focus on high-quality sleep.
Consequently, it is extremely valuable to focus on high-quality sleep. You could plan eight hours of sleep for yourself, but if you go to bed after drinking two cups of coffee, you will almost surely sleep worse than someone who does not.
Although more subtle than a cup of coffee, not winding down and taking the right steps before bed to sleep deeply can be equally detrimental. If, on the other hand, you can go to bed and sleep well each night, then even when you are getting fewer hours, you will be waking up more rested.
Here are eight specific things that you can do before bed that will help you get better sleep and wake up more energized each morning:
1. Stop using technology at least 20 minutes before bed.
This is one of the most difficult things to do in today’s age. Technology is pervasive and avoiding the conversations that you are having can feel like an unnecessary pain point.
Turning off your messaging for the night a bit before you sleep, though, will help you mind wind down. Otherwise, you will be putting your head down thinking about responding to someone, leaving the conversation abruptly, or about the topic you were discussing.
2. Keep yourself as stress-free as possible at night.
It is inevitable to have stressful nights from time to time. Doing what you can to make your nights calm, though, will play large dividends towards your sleep quality.
If you can lay down without having to worry about something going on or a task you did not accomplish, then you will fall asleep more quickly and sleep deeper.
Less stress in your before bedtime activities.
This, ultimately, means spending your night doing less stress-inducing activities. If you have to do work at night, try to make it more mindless. Examples include the laundry, dishes or mindless data entry. That way, by the time you are going to bed, it will be easier to shut off your brain.
3. Spend time winding down.
Even if it is for just 15 minutes, letting yourself wind down before bed will also pay great dividends. Otherwise, even subconsciously while you sleep, your mind will still be turning.
Reading, listen to music.
Winding down looks different for everyone, so the key is finding what works best for you. This could be reading, listening to music, spending time with your family, or a host of other things. By winding down, you are preparing your body and mind for sleep.
4. Be thoughtful about any food or drinks you have close to bedtime.
Many types of sugar before bed have been shown to reduce the quality of your sleep. The same can be said for coffee, alcohol, and food high in fat content.
Don’t eat high fat or drink alcohol before bed.
Instead of eating/drinking these things, try to plan out your meals so that you can eat well before you go to bed. It will help you sleep better and keep you healthier.
Make sure that you have had plenty of liquid during the day so that you are hydrated. You want to always have enough liquid during the day that you even wake up hydrated.
This reduces drowsiness, keeps energy levels higher and will actually help you eat less food. Great hydration is one of the best ways to stay healthy with a good weight.
5. Turn your phone on airplane mode or do not disturb.
There might be times in your life when you need to keep your phone ringer on in case of an emergency. When possible, though, you should keep your ringer off or on airplane mode.
The buzz of a text message is so tempting when we are trying to fall asleep, and it can drag you right out of your calm state. Even receiving notifications in the middle of the night can wake you up or alter your slumber. Even slight altering in your sleep will make you more tired the next day.
6. Try and stay consistent.
It is not always possible, but you should do what you can to stay on a consistent sleep schedule.
It will help you fall asleep more quickly and sleep deeper. We can train our bodies to believe that certain times are our bedtime as well as the time we will rise.
Then, when that time of night comes around, we will be ready to fall asleep. This consistent schedule is both healthy for you and will help your body wind down.
7. Write down or say five things you are grateful for from the previous day.
At the end of each day, try saying or writing five things you are grateful for. They could be as large as a job offer, or as small as someone holding the door for you that day. Doing this before bed will remind you to appreciate life more. It will also leave you going to sleep in a better mood, which can translate to the following morning.
8. Set an alarm so you have enough time in the morning.
A stressful morning is never worth an extra 10 minutes of sleep. No matter how tempting it might be to set your alarm a bit later or hit snooze when you wake up, you are only doing yourself a disservice.
Waking up feeling scrambled is a terrible way to start the day. Plus, it can lead you to forget something or be late. Instead, wake up with enough time to do what you need in the morning without stress. It will kick your days off much better and lead to higher energy levels.