If you have problems getting off to sleep or not sleeping as soundly as you would like, here are five tips on how get better sleep that may help you. Read on to see which bad daytime habits you have developed that may be impacting the quality of your sleep. Then realize that you will sleep better simply by making a few changes in your routine.
Exercise for Better Sleep
There is no question that daily exercising has it's benefits. However, strenuous exercise done in the early evening or later can affect your ability to fall asleep because it raises your body temperature and it will not begin to fall for several hours. It is much easier to fall asleep when body temperature is lower.
If you exercise late in the day, consider changing your workout time. Exercising five or six hours before you plan to go to bed is ideal, as this allows ample time for your body temperature to cool to a level that is conducive to sleep. Whatever you do however, do not stop exercising. You reap an abundance of benefits, including better sleep, by getting daily moderate exercise. If you cannot adjust your workout time, try lowering the intensity level.
Avoid Caffeine Based Drinks for Better Sleep
Most people will not drink caffeinated coffee at night because they realize that caffeine affects the way you sleep and can keep you awake. But coffee is not the only beverage containing caffeine. Soda, tea and some energy drinks also contain this stimulant. Therefore, all should be avoided in the afternoon and evening. Chocolate also has caffeine so eating chocolate cake, ice cream or pie for dessert can produce the same type of sleep issues.
The way that caffeine affects individuals varies so there is no general rule about its consumption that applies to everyone. If you think caffeine might be impacting your sleep, eliminate all caffeine in the afternoon and evening for a few days and note any differences in your sleep.
Cigarettes and Alcohol Do Not Help You Sleep
One misconception about alcohol is that it helps you sleep. Alcohol can bring sleep on faster, but it may cause you to wake more often during your sleep period. Nicotine withdrawals occur while you sleep so the need to light up may cause you to wake more frequently.
As with caffeine, stop consuming alcoholic beverages at night for a few days and see if you feel more refreshed in the morning. And kick the nicotine habit once and for all for better sleep and better health!
Stop Eating Before Bed for Better Sleep
Some foods, especially those foods that cause acid reflux and heartburn, can negatively affect your sleep. Tomato-based foods and beverages and spicy foods are the biggest instigators of nighttime acid reflux attacks.
Heartburn, which intensifies when you lie down, causes much discomfort during sleep and that discomfort can cause you to wake often during sleep. Drinking a lot of liquids, caffeinated, alcoholic or otherwise, will cause you to wake frequently too because you will have to urinate more.
Avoid Daytime Napping
Like many people, you may love to nap during the day, but doing so might cause sleep disruptions by upsetting the workings of your body clock or by causing you to need fewer hours of sleep during the night. Nap only briefly, no longer than thirty minutes or eliminate napping entirely and see if doing so helps you get better sleep at night.