Is changing the time you go to bed the only thing you can do to get more sleep?
At 10 pm you were dozing off on the couch and instead of sleeping there, you put yourself to bed – smart move. But at 4 am, your mind is hoping around like a handful of frijoles frying on a hot griddle. Entertaining but not very restful.
What should you do?
The simple answer is to look closely at your bedtime routine and eliminate habits that are screwing with your sleep. Not sure which habits are to blame for your sleep challenges? Let’s begin, shall we?
8 things you need to do before you go to bed for better sleep
Stop drinking coffee at 2 pm. Still wired from your after-dinner coffee? Good luck falling asleep. If you’re lucky enough to fall asleep, you’ll likely be restless throughout the night and wake up earlier than normal. Caffeine lives in your system for 6-8 hours after your last sip. Related: Is your OCD (Obsessive Coffee Disorder) healthy?
Say no to a nightcap. Wine or beer with dinner is lovely and will relax you as nightfall sets but a nightcap before bed can lead to disrupted sleep. Related: Drinking and how it affects your sleep
Adjust the thermostat. Body temperature falls naturally during sleep and a room that’s too hot can create a swampy, sticky mess between the sheets. It’s gross and it also interferes with you getting the deep, healing stages of sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed. Related: Temperature and how it affects sleep
Change your sheets. If you haven’t changed your sheets in a month, there’s probably more than 11 million bacteria PER SQUARE INCH. What’s more, those hungry little beasts are feasting on you every night when you climb into bed. Related: Why a mattress protector is so important
Turn your phone to night mode. Checking your phone in bed exposes your brain to bright light, which is a signal it’s time to wake up. Apple products have a night shift mode and Androids have Twilight. Use them. Related: Electronics in bed and how they affect sleep
Get Fido a bed of his own. While as many as 40% of pet owners report sleeping with their pets, a lot of them also say their pets interfere with their sleep. If your sleep is disrupted, move your pet to another room for a week and see if that makes a difference. Related: Can sleeping with your pet affect your health?
Lose the snooze. It’s a morning habit that sets you up for a tired day, which could spell trouble at night if you’ve napped because of it. When it comes to sleep, quality is more important than quantity and continually hitting the snooze button fragments your sleep. Related: What your alarm says about you
Get a new mattress. This might be a no-brainer but your mattress should be the hero of your sleep health. If it’s older than 10 years, sagging or otherwise worn out, it’s time to consider a replacement. Related: 12 step mattress shopping guide
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- Sleep aids for better sleep
- Can lavender really help you sleep better?
- Mattress size guide – everything you need to know about mattress sizes