Adults need an average of seven hours of sleep each night. While that may seem like an unrealistic number for many people, it is possible to achieve. The following tips will help you fall asleep faster and stay that way all night to get the most benefit from your downtime.
Choose a Mattress That Fits Your Sleep Position
Many people overlook how positioning impacts a good night’s sleep. How you sleep can affect what type of bed is right for you. For example, if you are a stomach sleeper, you may want a firmer mattress that will help keep your spine in alignment. On the other hand, side and back sleepers may feel more comfortable and get higher-quality sleep on a slightly softer surface.
No matter what position you find yourself in during the night, some other basic mattress shopping tips can help you find the perfect bed. Size is one common factor that can lead to discomfort. A too-small surface will leave you cramped and potentially contorting into an uncomfortable position, while an overly large one can make the bedroom feel cluttered and increase stress. Temperature is another consideration. Many new mattresses come with cooling gel and ventilation features that are perfect for those who get overheated during the night.
Set the Temperature Lower at Night
One cool feature of the human body is that core temperatures drop in preparation for sleep. Cooler room temps can help kick start this process, making it easier to fall asleep. Anyone who has ever stuck a foot out from under the covers to cool off has experienced this phenomenon. You can use this to your advantage by setting the temperature in your home lower in the evening. Your body will take it as a cue to slow down and get ready to fall asleep.
Sleep experts generally suggest keeping your bedroom between 60 and 67 degrees at night. However, ideal ranges can change throughout the lifestyle, so you may need to experiment by gradually adjusting the temperatures to find what works best.
Watch What You Eat and Drink Before Bed
What you eat and drink in the afternoon can directly impact your ability to relax and unwind. Try to limit — or, better yet, eliminate — the following things from your diet after mid-afternoon:
- Caffeinated drinks
- High-sugar foods and drinks
- Excess alcohol
- Spicy foods
- High-fat foods
Try to stick with foods that can help you drift off in the evening. Examples include fatty fish, nuts and seeds, tart cherries and malted milk.
Eliminate Extra Light in Your Bedroom
Excess light in the bedroom can disrupt the body’s ability to sleep. Studies indicate that even small amounts of light, such as a street lamp filtered through curtains, can impact sleep quality and negatively affect your health.
You may be wondering how to get rid of most light sources in the modern world. While it isn’t always easy, it is possible. Start by removing clocks, televisions, and other light sources from the bedroom. Then, invest in some high-quality room-darkening shades to remove exterior light sources. Think of your bedroom as a cave and you’ll be snoring away in no time at all.
Establish a Pre-Bedtime Routine
Finally, take the time to establish a pre-bed routine. Then, make it a point to stick with this routine every night. Sure, there will be some exceptions when you have plans or are on vacation, but a sleep routine works best when it is followed most of the time.
This will vary from person to person but should be a sequence of events that help you unwind. A few ideas that might be helpful include turning off tech devices an hour or two before bed, performing stretches or a bedtime yoga sequence and reading a book.
Adjusting the temperature and light levels in your bedroom, developing a bedtime routine and finding a mattress that works for your sleep habits can help make getting a good night’s sleep the norm.