10 Simple Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep troubles are one of the most universal struggles we deal with on a daily basis, and we’re constantly searching for ways to improve the quality of our sleep.

It feels like those blissful nights when we fall asleep quickly, sleep deeply, and wake up feeling refreshed are becoming more and more rare the older we get.

Our careers have taken off, we’re working longer hours and feeling more stressed, and we have spouses and children to care for. Winding down, meditating, indulging in a hot bath, and reading a great book seem like the stuff of fairy tales the busier we get.

Not catching the right amount of Zs can leave us in a foggy, unmotivated, and unfocused state.

We can experience forgetfulness, anxiousness, and a lack of productivity throughout the day. Crankiness, mood swings, drowsiness, sugar cravings, and irritability are common side effects of poor quality sleep as well.

Like everything in life, there isn’t one simple answer to a better night’s sleep. There is no magic wand or quick remedy - instead there are several basic steps you can build into your nighttime routine that can help ease you into a restful state before lights out.

The more you practice these easy tips, the more they will become second nature to you, mindless even. And once you start feeling the rewards of deep rest - and wake up feeling like a million bucks - you’ll want to make them a top priority.

Here are 10 simple tips for a good night’s sleep:

  1. Declutter your bedroom. Studies have shown that people who have more clutter in their bedrooms take longer to fall asleep than those with neat and tidy rooms. So quickly hanging up your clothes instead of throwing them on the floor makes more of a difference than you think.
  2. Don’t answer work emails past 8:00 pm. This will only reignite the anxiety and stress that you tried to leave behind when you left the office. Every message requires your brain to make yet another decision. Instead of checking your phone, grab a book instead. Reading is one of the most relaxing ways to destress before bed.
  3. Create a quiet, peaceful environment. If you can’t fall asleep to absolute silence, try a noise machine or even a guided meditation with headphones on. You can choose noise sounds like crickets, rainforest, fire crackling, or ocean waves - all remarkably relaxing to listen to. The blaring noise from a violent background movie, not to mention the blinding light from the screen, can be disturbing to your eyes and ears.
  4. Splurge on the best pillow for you. Some people prefer soft, fluffy, down pillows while others want a firm, supportive, tempurpedic pillow. You’re going to be using it every night, so go ahead and spend a few extra bucks to get one you really love. This is especially important if you suffer from neck or back pain from sitting at a desk all day!
  5. Keep your room cool and dark. Most experts agree that the sweet spot for temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Invest in some curtains to block out bright street lights.
  6. The lights should be low after dinnertime. Swap the fluorescent bathroom light for the closet light instead, when you’re changing into your pajamas or brushing your teeth. Turn off all main living room lights and instead turn on the microwave light or dim foyer light. Low light is less disruptive to the body’s natural circadian rhythms, so your body is signaled it’s time to start winding down.
  7. Consider limiting caffeine and alcohol. The winding down process actually begins during the day. Exercise early, and try to have your last cup of coffee by 3:00 pm. Though alcohol seems to relax you in the short-term, in reality it pumps your body full of sugar in the evening and therefore yields low-quality sleep.
  8. Meditate to relieve stress, forget the day, practice mindfulness, and set yourself up for tomorrow. Many people have trouble meditating on their own and just sitting or laying in the silence with their thoughts. So if that’s you, try a guided meditation on YouTube or use a meditation app.
  9. Get clean. Take a shower or a bath before bed, even if you’re going to exercise first thing in the morning anyways. The heat from the water relaxes your tense, tired muscles, and slows down your mind’s racing thoughts.
  10. Listen to classical music like piano. There are even film score playlists that showcase tunes from your favorite movies. Film scores are a great go-to because they are instrumental only.

And there you have it!

Start by just introducing two or three of these tips into your nightly routine. Check in and see how you feel after a few weeks of being consistent. Then, sprinkle in a few more…

Pretty soon you’ll be a professional sleeper.

Enjoy reaping the benefits of a great night’s sleep!

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