Restful Sleep

Sleep

Sleep is among the most critical activities for our bodies. A good night’s sleep helps digestion, healing, weight control, disease prevention, and brain function. In children, sleep is essential for proper growth and development.

Several factors can affect a person’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. For example, they might stay up too late looking at their phones, watching TV, or lying awake unable to fall asleep. So it’s crucial to understand how you can get a restful sleep. The good news is that getting restful sleep is easy with the proper routine and tools.

Reserve Your Bed for Sleep

If you perform multiple activities on your bed, it can be hard to associate it with rest. For example, if you work or take stressful phone calls on your bed, you associate your bed more with work than rest.

The key is to designate your bed for rest. Try taking your work to the living room couch or a desk, where you generally don’t try to get a deep rest.

Keep a Consistent Bedtime 

If you keep a consistent bedtime, your body will gradually begin to relax around that time. For example, if you try to fall asleep every night around 9:30, your body will naturally start to feel tired around that time. 

It is okay to stay up a little later every so often, like on the weekends, but trying to go to bed around the same time most nights should lead to better sleep.

Make Your Bedroom a Relaxing Environment

You associate your bed with rest, and you should do the same with your bedroom. After all, this place needs to remain quiet and warm enough to help you stay comfortable and get some sleep.

You can get creative with creating this environment, such as hanging up soft lights or getting comfy bedding. Hang up pictures that make you happy or decorations that suggest comfort or relaxation.

Although you should not use electronics with blue light close to bedtime, you can play a relaxing playlist on your phone or computer to set the mood. If white noise relaxes you, use a white noise machine or turn a box fan onto a low setting.

Star or planet projectors are also a fun way to light up the dark. Some of these machines can hook up to your phone via Bluetooth to play relaxing music.

Make sure your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature.

Don’t Use Electronics With Blue Light

Electronic devices like TVs or smartphones use blue light to help illuminate the screen. Unfortunately, this type of light disrupts your body clock, so using these devices too close to bedtime can delay your falling asleep.

That’s not to say you should discard these electronics from your room altogether. Smartphones have a Night Shift setting, where your screen will shift to warmer colors to help decrease the effects of blue light. You can manually turn Night Shift on or set it to a specific time every night.

Create a Consistent Bedtime Routine

Some people require more or less time to relax before bed, but a consistent bedtime routine can be essential to starting a restful sleep. You can start this routine an hour or two before you want to fall asleep to help you relax.

You can start your sleep runway by brushing your teeth, washing your face, and doing other personal hygiene steps. Consider adding a hot shower or bath to your routine since hot water can be calming, and the steam can rejuvenate your sinuses.

After changing into pajamas, you can turn on calming music or soft lights. You can read a book or listen to music until you feel sleepy. Consider also listening to an ASMR video or bedtime meditation video to induce relaxation.

Whatever activities you do in your bedroom at a specific time, you will eventually train your brain and body that it’s time to sleep.

Try Some Light Exercise

People tend to sleep better when they’re physically tired. If you need more physical activity during the day, try light exercise a few hours before bedtime. This includes gentle stretching, a brief walk, or breathing exercises.

Be careful not to do strenuous exercises too close to bedtime. Your body needs time to cool down from exercising, and not allowing your body to cool can delay restful sleep.

Stop Working at Least an Hour Before Bed

Having a consistent bedtime routine also means turning off your working brain before sleeping. Most people say giving yourself at least an hour to relax before your bedtime is enough to help your brain settle into sleep.

During that hour, try to do mindless, relaxing tasks. These can include:

  • Reading a book
  • Knitting
  • Listening to sleep hypnosis videos
  • Practicing deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques
  • Simply enjoying how soft your pillow, blanket, or mattress is
  • Playing a relaxation or stress-relieving game.

The whole point of a bedtime routine is to relax you, not stimulate you. This means refraining from the following activities:

  • Ingesting caffeine or alcohol
  • Playing loud or stimulating music
  • Exercising too much
  • Thinking about negative occurrences from your day.

Don’t Drink Alcohol or Take Sleeping Pills

We want to emphasize not drinking alcohol or becoming dependent on sleeping pills to get restful sleep.

Drinking alcohol can indeed make you feel sleepy. However, alcohol metabolizes while you sleep, so it can make you restless and wake up. Going to sleep dehydrated can exacerbate this problem, and you might wake up feeling restless and thirsty.

We only suggest taking sleeping pills if you have been diagnosed with insomnia. Some sleeping pills come with side effects, and you might form a habit of taking them.

Melatonin gummies are another alternative to helping you fall asleep since they use non-habit-forming ingredients. However, there needs to be more research on the long-term usage effects of these gummies. We should also be clear that melatonin gummies only induce sleepiness, not actual sleep, so their impact is limited.

Avoid Too Many Daytime Naps

We can’t deny that a good nap can feel good during a long, hard day. That said, limiting how much we sleep during the day is essential since this can disrupt our nighttime sleep.

If you need to nap, limit it to an hour. This should prevent you from sleeping too deeply and waking up feeling more groggy than relaxed.

Also, be careful when you nap. Taking a nap too late in the day can delay feeling sleepy at the right time. Try to take a nap by 4 or 5 pm.

Practice Good Stress Management

It might not be enough to stop working at bedtime. Sometimes, you might still carry your worries into bedtime, so quieting those thoughts is a good idea.

You can manage your stress at bedtime in a variety of ways, like:

  • Keeping a journal to get out all your worries
  • Make a to-do list for the next day, so you don’t feel so scrambled
  • Knock some small to-dos off your list, like making your lunch or getting the coffee ready
  • Remind yourself that your current goal is to sleep, not to worry about tomorrow

It also helps to focus on your environment. Think about how soft your pillow is or how cozy your blankets are. Remember how good it feels to finally enjoy your bed after a long day. Falling asleep is now the most critical task, so focus on that.

Final Thoughts

We know that getting restful sleep can be difficult. However, with the right tools and consistency, it can become easier. It might become the best part of your day since it’s dedicated to relaxation and reflection.

We hope you’ve found some useful tools for a restful night’s sleep and that you sleep well tonight.

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