Sleep is everyone’s best friend, but it’s sometimes difficult to get a proper night’s rest. I’ve had my fair share of nights where I toss and turn for hours before finally giving up and accepting I’ll be tired the next day. To save yourself some hassle, here are a few tips to help you out each night.
1. Limit your exposure to natural light at night
Keeping your room dark and quiet helps to improve your sleep routine. Try wearing a sleeping mask or using black-out curtains to darken the environment. A darker, calmer room helps your body relax and produce melatonin.
2. Avoid caffeinated drinks or large amounts of liquid before bed
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I know it can be tempting to have that cup of coffee to get through that last hour of studying, but don’t do it! Caffeine is a stimulant and drinking it before bed is a terrible idea (duh). Also, avoid drinking water 1 – 2 hours before you sleep. Drinking water before bed likely means you’ll be up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. If you really need something warm before you end the day, try herbal teas. Chamomile is a popular option, as is valerian root and magnolia bark.
3. Avoid daytime naps
A quick 20-minute snooze can help boost productivity, but if you find yourself struggling at fall asleep at night it’s best to skip the afternoon nap.
4. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine
Exercising is always a healthy option and it’s been shown to reduce stress, tire your body, and improve the quality of sleep. Any amount is better than none, so a quick 10-minute walk in the afternoon is better than nothing.
5. Check the temperature of your room
Like Goldilocks and her struggle, sometimes it’s too hot and sometimes it’s too cold. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the best temperature to sleep in is between 60 -67 degrees. (Although you may have to haggle with your roommate if they like it warmer!)
6. Have a bedtime routine
Winding down before bed is important, so creating a comforting nighttime routine can really improve your chances of improving sleep. I’ve personally found reading or journaling is best for my routine, as both help me stay off my phone. Speaking of which…
7. Avoid being on your phone before bedtime
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Phones have blue light, which tricks your body into thinking it’s still daylight. It can mess up your circadian rhythm and throw your body off track at night. If you really can’t resist the technologic temptation, see if your phone has an option to eliminate or lessen the blue light exposure. Some apps even have the option of ‘night-mode’ to choose from.
Hopefully, these tips will be as helpful to you as they have been to me. Of course, if you try these and more but are still having difficulty sleeping, you might need to consult a physician, but hopefully, that’s not the case. Sweet dreams!