Do you feel like you’re at the mercy of your to-do list? You can’t sleep easy because of all those outstanding tasks.
You’re not alone. Around 40% of Americans don’t manage the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep.
That’s a lot of people with a lower quality of life. Just out of exhaustion.
Obviously, the amount of sleep that people need varies from person to person.
So if you’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when you get out of bed then you’re fine. Even if you only had 6 hours of sleep.
But if you’re sick of feeling like a zombie when you wake up, don’t worry. Getting a good night’s sleep is more achievable than you think. Follow these tips and sleep easy!
Kick caffeine to the curb
You’ve seen the Monday morning memes about coffee. You’ve probably been drinking coffee while you read them.
And sure, coffee can perk you up when you just can’t get started.
But coffee – and caffeine in general – is no friend of sleep.
Caffeine lurks in carbonated drinks, dark chocolate, and even green tea. So avoid all of them from the late afternoon onwards.
It might even be beneficial to ditch alcohol before bed. While it can help you fall asleep, it won’t necessarily help you stay asleep.
If you need a pick-me-up during the day, try exercise instead.
Exercise regulates body temperature and reduces anxiety. Both factors ease stress during the day. They also help the body in preparing for sleep at night.
So trying increasing your daily activity and see what time workout suits you best. But if you’re really struggling with anxiety, try these hacks to help you keep calm.
Schedule sleep into your day
This should be easy if you’re used to having a to-do list. And the body appreciates a routine.
So start getting ready for bed every night at the same time. This’ll signal ‘sleep time’ to your brain.
It’s also a good idea to keep your schedule constant, even on weekends. That way you’ll let the brain settle into its new circadian rhythm.
And it’s helpful to wind down before bed. Trying reading, journaling, or even coloring in during that hour-long shut down before you go to sleep.
A long warm bath can also help to ease you into a good night’s sleep.
It works because your body temperature drops when you get out of the warm water. This fools the body into thinking it’s time to sleep.
Or you can check out the bedtime routines for successful people. Get some tips!
Put away your devices before bed
Be aware that ‘better sleep’ doesn’t mean ‘more sleep’. So falling asleep – and staying asleep – should be your goal.
And you’ll never sleep easy if you’ve been using an electronic device before bed.
Laptops, tablets, TV screens, and cell phones all emit the blue-wave light that tells the brain to wake up.
So you might think you’re just enjoying another episode of Stranger Things. But you’re actually telling your brain not to shut down for sleep.
Avoid all electronic screens at least an hour before sleep.
Initiate a cellphone ban in your bedroom to avoid the temptation to check your phone.
Get the atmosphere right and sleep easy
The body doesn’t like extremes of temperature while it’s sleeping. Too hot or too cold and you’ll end up restless.
Your body temperature drops while you’re asleep and rises again towards morning. 65°F is the recommended temperature.
But you don’t just need the right temperature to sleep easy. You also need to turn out the lights.
You probably know how annoying bright LED lights can be. So cover or dim them where you can.
Some people even install blackout curtains. Eye masks can also prolong the darkness for longer, letting you enjoy more sleep.
Minimize noise where you can. That might mean earplugs if your partner snores.
Or you can try air purifiers or white-noise apps if you prefer steady background noise.
Bring technology onto your side
And speaking of apps, try tracking your sleep cycle. You can use smart watches or even your smartphone.
If you know when you’re waking up during the night, you might be able to work out why. Eliminate that cause and sleep easy.
And it’s a great way to gather data if nothing seems to be helping. You can take that information with you if you decide to see a doctor about your lack of sleep.
Prepare for the next day – then set it aside
Maybe you’re worried you’ll sleep through your alarm. Then you’ll wake up late and miss your flight.
Anxiety is a surefire way to avoid a good night’s sleep. A simple way to solve the problem is set more than one alarm.
And stop checking the clock. It’s natural to keep glancing at the time but nothing will keep you awake more.
But perhaps it’s your to-do list itself that’s keeping you awake. Letting thoughts run round and round in your mind won’t let you sleep easy.
Keep a notebook and pen by your bed. Write down all of the things you’re worrying about.
Getting it onto paper is a quick way to get it out of your head. But you won’t worry about forgetting anything because it’s all written down.
Then you can try these hacks for a brilliant morning.
Try mindful meditation
Dim the screen of your smartphone as far as you can. Most meditators recommend that you don’t lie down in case you fall asleep.
So use that to your advantage! Calm is a great option as the nature sounds will soothe you to sleep.
You might need to try any – or all – of these tips until you hit on the one that works for you. You might need to try them for some time before you’ll see an effect.
But at least one of them is bound to help you sleep easy. Good luck!