Here’s how to get to sleep… and to stay there.
When it comes to getting your nightly rest, it’s easy to get caught up in the fear of not getting to sleep. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, getting a great night’s sleep is much more in your reach than you may think. Whether it’s building your bedroom with coziness in mind or sticking to a sleep-inducing schedule, here are 8 of our favourite ways to get a better night’s rest… every night.
1. Cut down on the caffeine.
There’s nothing wrong with your morning cup of coffee — but caffeine can definitely start interfering with your sleep the closer it gets to bedtime. According to the Sleep Foundation, caffeine interferes with your adenosine receptors — which promote healthy, restful sleep. Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee when 3 p.m. comes around, consider non-caffeinated tea or a cup of decaf roast.
2. Reduce your daily screen time.
Blue light can get in the way of melatonin production, which will, in turn, start affecting your sleep. While you’ve probably heard about keeping screens off in the bedroom, take it a step further and start limiting your screen time earlier in the day. The less blue light exposure, the better — so instead of your evening TV binge, spend some nights enjoying conversation or reading a book.
3. Create nighttime rituals.
One of the quickest ways to encourage better sleep is by creating rituals that indicate it’s time to wind down — which is where nighttime routines start coming into play. Whether you want to enjoy a mug of tea and a book each night or you simply know that unloading the dishwasher means it’s time to go to bed, start implementing routines that signal to your body that it’s nighttime.
4. Do a nightly brain dump.
Often, too many thoughts are what keep us awake at night — which is why a nightly brain dump can be a great help. Each night, take the time to get out any thoughts or anxieties that might be getting in the way of your sleep… and then leave them there. Whether you journal them out or record a voice memo on your phone, give your thoughts space, think them through for a second, and then let them leave your mind.
5. Keep your space clean and clear.
Regardless of whether or not you crave clean spaces in your daily life, keeping your space clean is often more conducive to good sleep. When you rest in a cluttered area, you’re waking up to a stressful environment — and it gets in the way of quality sleep. While you don’t need to become a clean freak overnight, taking the time to tidy up your space, keeping your sheets regularly washed and your room neat can make a huge difference.
6. Stick to a sleep schedule.
Regularly falling asleep and waking up around the same time each day is an excellent way to nurture your internal sleep schedule — otherwise known as your circadian rhythms — even on the weekends. A statistic by the Sleep Foundation reports that “the key driver of the body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock, is the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain, which is made up of around 20,000 neurons.” By going to sleep and waking up each day at the same time, you can stimulate the nucleus and, in turn, create better sleep patterns for yourself.
7. Exercise during the day.
The act of exercise — specifically aerobic exercise, such as HIIT or cardio — stimulates endorphins in the body that can help you fall asleep more quickly (and with better sleep quality). While it’s likely not a great idea to exercise within 2 hours or so before bed, regular exercise may help you get to sleep faster — and may help to further stimulate the body’s repair mechanisms.
8. Make your bedroom a sanctuary.
One of the best ways to ensure better, more consistent and quality sleep is to do so in a room that helps you crave it. By making your bedroom a sleep-friendly oasis, full of soft linens and melatonin-producing vibes, you’ll create an environment that screams “great sleep.” So, instead of worrying about counting sheep, create your own oasis.