When someone is lying in bed, wide awake at three o’clock in the morning, he may start thinking that getting a good night’s sleep is impossible. However, people have a lot more control over their sleep quality than they realize. Sadly, a lot of people don’t realize this. How a person feels in the morning usually depends on how well he gets to sleep at night. So, one can sleep better at night by adapting some useful daytime habits.
People who have lifestyle choices and daytime habits which are unhealthy are more likely to toss and turn all night. Either that or they don’t enjoy a good-quality sleep. This, in turn, may affect the person’s immune system, mood, heart and brain health, vitality, creativity, and even weight. Fortunately, there is hope.
Anyone who finds it challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep at night should consider changing some of their daytime habits. One can experiment with different techniques and tips to find out which one/s work best. This will help improve the way the person sleeps which will then lead to being healthier. Getting a good night’s sleep will enhance a person’s physical and mental health. It will also improve how one feels and thinks during the daytime. Consider these daytime habits:
Avoid Taking Naps
Although napping is great for kids, this doesn’t apply to adults. A lot of people take naps in the afternoon just to get themselves through the day. But when it causes the person to have difficulties getting to sleep at night, then this is one daytime habit he needs to change.
When it comes to napping, it’s important to be smart about it. Although napping is a great way to make up for lack of sleep, this is one habit that makes sleeping at night a lot more difficult. If one needs to nap, then it’s best to do so early in the afternoon. Then, it’s also a good idea to set the alarm so the nap doesn’t last for more than half an hour. Also, sleeping in front of the television early in the evening might make it more challenging to sleep at night.
Wake Up at the Same Time Every Morning
Although sleeping-in is very tempting, one must resist the urge to do so. Even though the person had a late night or it’s a holiday, sleeping-in is never a good idea. One great habit to start to improve sleep is to wake up consistently every day. It’s also a good idea to go to bed at the same time every night. Doing this will help regulate the natural rhythm of the body.
When a person sleeps and wakes up at the same time consistently, it will help set his body’s internal clock. This will result in better quality sleep. To start this habit, choose a sleeping time when you usually feel tired already. Do this so that you don’t end up tossing and turning in the bed. As the person can get enough sleep, then he’ll be able to wake up naturally in the morning even without the help of an alarm.
As much as possible, avoid sleeping-in even during the weekends. The more weekend and weekday schedules vary, the worse it will be for the person. If one must make up for a late night, it’s better to take a nap in the daytime instead of extending the sleeping time. This will allow the person to “pay-off” his sleep debt without interfering with his natural sleep and wake rhythm.
Think About Important Things During the Daytime
Worrying is another habit one should change. When a person thinks or worries too much at bedtime, the more he will have difficulty sleeping. So, it’s best to set a “worry time” during the day. At this time, one can go through his stressful plans and to-do lists. And it’s best to set this time earlier in the day. Do this so that one can start winding down early in the evening to prepare for bed.
If there’s something important which hasn’t been dealt with even by the end of the day, postpone worrying first. Also, if one wakes up during the night feeling worried or anxious about something relevant, make a note of the issue on a small piece of paper. Then postpone worrying about the issue. Although it may seem big when thinking about it in the middle of the night, it will become much easier to solve during the daytime. The same thing goes if a person suddenly gets a great idea in the middle of the night and it’s keeping him awake. It’s best to make a note of it then go back to sleep to be a lot more productive in the morning.
Get Some Sun
Another great way to regulate the internal clock of the body is to expose oneself to natural sunlight. And this can only be done during the daytime and the earlier, the better. People who spend all day at the office should try catching some rays during their lunch break. During winter when the skies are grey, and the sun is hiding behind the clouds, it’s quite difficult to get the sunlight exposure needed to improve sleep. In such cases, one can expose himself to artificial light which comes from a light therapy box.
Sunlight exposure is important for those who want to improve the quality of their sleep. The closer it is to the time a person gets up, the better it will be. Because of this, it’s a good idea to have breakfast next to a sunny window or even have the morning cup of coffee outdoors. When the sunlight hits the face, this will wake the body up.
When one is trying to sleep better at night, it’s a good idea to spend more time outdoors during the daytime. To do this, one can perform tasks outdoors such as exercising, taking breaks, walking the dog. Do all these tasks in the morning rather than at night.
To make things even better, allow a lot of light to enter the home and the workspace. Do this by keeping blinds and curtains open during the daytime. Aside from this, try to de-clutter your home to make it a more relaxing environment. All these will allow you to work better during the day and sleep better at night.
Set a Curfew for Stimulants Like Caffeine
This is another great habit to start for those who want to sleep better at night. One should avoid drinks which include caffeine at least 6-8 hours before their bedtime. Such drinks include tea, coffee, cola, energy drinks, and more. Another stimulant to avoid taking before sleeping is nicotine. Since this component is found in cigarettes, smokers should not smoke when it’s almost time for bed. Finally, it’s also a good idea to stay away from alcohol. Sure, it may give a relaxing effect at first, but later, it will disrupt one’s sleeping patterns. So, it’s better to avoid drinking alcoholic drinks within 3 hours before bedtime.
Staying away from caffeine means that one should also stay away from caffeinated soft drinks too. For a lot of people, caffeine lingers in the body for longer than they may realize. This means that for some people, even minimal amounts of caffeine may keep them up late. This is because the component blocks adenosine, a brain chemical which helps people fall asleep. It’s also worth noting that the older people get, the more sensitive they become to the effects of caffeine. This is because the efficiency of the liver at filtering out the caffeine decreases as one grows older.
Exercise Each Day
When a person exercises regularly, this habit can make it a lot easier to fall asleep at night. It also helps the person have a better-quality sleep throughout the night. This applies to people who work out wither during the daytime or in the afternoon. However, it’s not a good idea to exercise vigorously just a few hours before going to bed.
As much as possible, try to do at least half an hour of exercise at least 5 days each week. It doesn’t have to be too intense, moderately intensive workout regimens would be very helpful too. Exercising is especially relevant for people who have desk jobs and spend more than 8 hours each day sitting down. This is because sitting too much makes it a lot harder for people to fall asleep at night.
Finish Important Tasks in the Morning
Keep in mind that evenings should be the time to unwind. Because of this, it’s important for people to avoid doing too many chores right before bedtime. This may sound challenging, but one would sleep better if he gets up earlier (remember the habit of waking up at the same time consistently?) to finish all the tasks he needs to do during the day. The brain works better especially at mental tasks during the daytime. This is because sunlight suppresses melatonin production which is a hormone that induces sleep.
Aside from finishing all the important tasks in the morning, one should also try creating a bedtime routine. This works well for children and adults too. The body needs at least half an hour to wind down and prepare itself for sleep. Think of relaxing things to do and incorporate them into the daily bedtime ritual.
More Tips to Help You Sleep Better
When it comes to sleeping better at night, having healthy daytime habits can help out. Before anything else, one should get in-sync with his natural circadian rhythm. This refers to the body’s natural sleep and wake cycle. If a person can regulate his circadian rhythm, he will be able to sleep better. This will lead to him being more energized and refreshed in the morning. Here are more tips to help one sleep better at night:
- Fight-off any drowsiness felt after dinner. If one experiences this, he should do something which is mildly stimulating. This will help the person reach his sleeping time consistently.
- A few hours before going to bed, try to stay away from bright screens. These include a computer, television, and even phone screens. If one needs to use his phone before bedtime, turn the brightness down so as not to strain the eyes too much.
- Speaking of screens, try to avoid watching too much television at night. Usually, TV shows provide a lot of stimulation which might dispel any drowsiness one is feeling. Instead, it’s better to listen to relaxing music right before bedtime.
- When it’s almost bedtime, make the room dimmer or darker. If it’s still bright outside, one can make use of heavy curtains to block the light from the windows. Either that or one can also try using a sleep mask. Switch the main lights off and stick with a dim nightlight. If one needs to roam the halls, he can use a small flashlight which won’t provide much stimulation.
- Aside from keeping the room dark, one should also keep the room cool and quiet. Most people can sleep better at night when their room is a bit cooler than normal. A room that’s too warm or too cold may interfere with good Also, if one can’t eliminate all the noises in the environment, he can use a sound machine or a fan to mask the disruptive sounds.
- To sleep better, one should also make sure that his bed is comfortable. The bed covers shouldn’t be so tight that the person can’t turn or stretch comfortably. If a person frequently feels sore in the morning, he may have to replace his mattress or pillows. Everything on the bed should be able to provide the right amount of support to allow the person to sleep well.
- Try to avoid eating large meals at night. When preparing dinner, avoid rich and heavy foods especially when eating dinner a few hours before bedtime. Also, acidic or spicy foods must be avoided as they might lead to heartburn or stomach issues.
- Finally, one should also learn some relaxation techniques. This is a great way to wind down before going to bed. These techniques will also help the person sleep better at night. Such techniques include:
- Deep breathing which involves closing the eyes then taking deep and slow breaths for a period.
- Progressive muscle relaxation which involves tensing-up the muscles one by one then relaxing them at the same time.
- Visualizing a peaceful and relaxing place. This would involve closing the eyes and think of a calming and peaceful place to make one feel more relaxed and prepped for sleep.
- Taking a relaxing shower or bath before sleeping.
No matter what a person does, he should focus more on relaxation instead of sleep. If one wakes up at night and has trouble going back to sleep, he can also try these tips, tricks, and relaxation techniques. Relaxation is a huge part of sleeping better at night which is why this should be the focus.