Getting enough sleep on a consistent basis can help you look, feel, and perform your best. So it might be in your best interest to make a plan now for how you can get more hours of good quality sleep.
Preparing to Sleep
- Set a regular bed and wake time. Waking up at the same time everyday helps your body keep its daily rhythm so you will be awake during the day and tired at night.
- Taking long naps or taking them too late in the day confuses your body for awake and sleep times. So keep your naps short and do them earlier in the day.
- Cut out screen time for several hours prior to going to bed. Even dimming the lights an hour before bed helps tell your body that it is time slow down and get ready to sleep.
- Stop drinking caffeinated beverages by mid to late afternoon.
- Relax before bed by doing quiet activities like reading, drawing, or writing.
- Exercise regularly. Just don't do it right before bed, the optimal time to exercise is late afternoon.
- Make sure your room is dark and without distractions. Use a fan or a noise machine if needed to block out noises. Store your electronics in another room or adjust the sound/volume so it doesn't interrupt your sleep.
- Focus your mind on positive thoughts about your day, your life, and about going to sleep.
What if you aren't able to sleep or you wake up in the middle of the night?
- Try not to watch the clock.
mindful breathing. Change your focus to your breathing instead of thinking about not being able to sleep.
- Think of things like waves on the ocean or watching a beautiful sunset to help you relax.
- If you have been trying to sleep for 15-20 minutes with no luck, try reading for a bit or listen to relaxing music.
- Pray about the things that are bothering you and may be keeping you awake.
- Count your blessings. Remembering the things that you thankful for can be calming and uplifting.
Everyone has a sleepless night once in a while. But if you regularly have trouble sleeping or you think your sleep patterns are affecting your mood or performance, talk to your doctor.