For something we spend half our life doing, many of us have trouble sleeping. Here are some tips for falling asleep faster, getting quality rest, and waking up easier in the morning:
1. Prepare a worthy bed: While your bed probably isn’t the primary cause of insomnia, snoring or other sleep problems, it can certainly contribute to your comfort at night. Make sure you’re using the right pillow based on your sleep type, and when it comes time to buy a new mattress, make sure you shop smart.
2. Eat better: What you eat — even during the early half of the day — can greatly affect how you sleep. Eat breakfast first thing in the morning to sleep better at night, and make sure it’s a big one. After eating well throughout the day, avoid eating spicy or junk foods at night, and choose something that will help you drift off. And, remember, limit alcohol! Not only will it not help you get to sleep, it might cause you to snore as well.
3. Exercise in the morning: Exercising in the morning or afternoon (not at night) can help you fall asleep quicker as well as deepen your sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. If you aren’t much of an exerciser, there’s no better time than now to upgrade your health and fitness routine.
4. Fix your sleeping position: You may not realize it over the course of the night, but your sleeping position might not be great for your body — or the quality of shuteye you get. Find out which sleeping style is best for you and make a conscious effort to fix it when you go to bed, and you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed in the morning.
5. Cool yourself off at night: Cooling down your body temperature makes a huge difference in how easy it is to fall asleep, but that can be hard to do when it’s hot outside (or when your significant other has a body temperature nearing the surface of the sun). Turn on the fan, open your windows, and use a light blanket to start.
6. Cultivate the perfect evening routine: As the end of the day rolls around, you should be winding yourself down for bed to get the best sleep possible. If you really want to fall asleep easily, take some time to cultivate the perfect evening routine — some light reading, a nice bubble bath, and something that doesn’t involve a backlit screen — to fall asleep quickly and keep your energy up the next day.
7. Learn to nap like a pro: If you feel yourself getting drowsy during the day, you might be tempted to nap, but that can be disastrous for your sleep schedule if done incorrectly. Learn to master the power nap, then calculate the best time to nap without disturbing your evening sleep. And if you really want to make the most of your naps, try a caffeine nap to more effectively reboot your brain in the middle of the day.