When counting sheep just won’t do, you need a plan of attack to make sure you get your rest. Here are the top tips for a good night’s sleep that you may not have heard of before.
Set a schedule
Go to bed at a set time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Disrupting this schedule may lead to insomnia. “Sleeping in” on weekends also makes it harder to wake up early on Monday morning because it re-sets your sleep cycles for a later awakening.
Try to exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day. Daily exercise often helps people sleep, although a workout soon before bedtime may interfere with sleep. For maximum benefit, try to get your exercise about 5 to 6 hours before going to bed.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
Many people think alcohol helps with sleep, but think again. Alcohol robs people of deep sleep and REM sleep and keeps them in the lighter stages of sleep. Also avoid drinks that contain caffeine, which acts as a stimulant and keeps people awake.
Sources of caffeine include coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, non-herbal teas, diet drugs, and some pain relievers. Smokers tend to sleep very lightly and often wake up in the early morning due to nicotine withdrawal.
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Control your room temperature
Maintain a comfortable temperature in the bedroom. Extreme temperatures have been known to disrupt sleep or prevent you from falling asleep.
Don’t lie in bed awake
If you can’t get to sleep, don’t just lie in bed. Do something else, like reading, watching television, or listening to music, until you feel tired.
The anxiety of being unable to fall asleep while you’re in bed can actually contribute to insomnia.