Getting a good night’s sleep seems almost impossible in today’s world. With work, business and family to attend, when does sleep even seem remotely possible? The truth of the matter is, it’s not about when you sleep, but how you sleep. I’ve learned this over the past 3 years. I normally take a 17-minute nap during the day time and what I’ve caught on to is that I have to be able to prepare beforehand to make my nap as efficient as possible. In other words, my mind is mentally prepared to go rest as well as my body. I’ve been doing the nap thing for roughly a year a now and has helped me get passed those days I thought I couldn’t make it. Below are 5 steps to getting a good nights sleep.
1. Keep your Environments Temperature at 68 Degrees
For the best sleeping results, keep your room or environment at a cool temperature. Not too cold, and not too hot. 68 degrees is normally the sweet spot. When the temperature starts to increase in my home, I normally can feel it and will start to toss and turn. This gets me out of my sleep element and I find it hard to get back comfortable. The same happens when it get’s just a little chilly. I find myself tossing and turning trying to locate a warm spot in my bed. On those nights that the temperature is just right, I have no problems. So for a good nights sleep, monitor the temperature in your home. You can also set your thermostat to automatically go down to 68 degrees maybe 30 minutes to an hour before your bedtime. This will also get you in the habit of knowing when bed time is.
2. Monitor what you eat close to bedtime
This is a big thing to watch right before bed. If you’ve eaten a full meal close to bedtime before, then you know the feeling you have after waking up the next morning. You feel groggy and don’t want to be bothered. You end up even more hungry the next morning than you were the night before. My suggestion would be if you are going to miss dinner, try eating two are three smaller snacks hours before bedtime. Foods such as almonds, carrots, peanuts, or other foods that aren’t as heavy on your stomach. These foods won’t take much energy to be broken down such as a plate of chicken or meat loaf. What happens when you are sleeping on a heavy stomach is your body begins working to break these foods down. It could be 2 to 3 hours before your body finishes. Now you won’t notice this much because you’re sleeping but your physical body knows.
3. Find something relaxing
In order to prepare, you must get into your comfort zone. Meaning you need to find something that triggers that relaxation time. I normally will pour me half a cup of decaffeinated tea and get a book to read, followed by jotting down all of my tasks that I need to complete the following day. Because I know these are the last things I need to do before bed, I can easily switch from reading to shutting everything down and closing my eyes. To be honest, I get excited after I read that last page and know the next thing I get to do is sleep. If you’re looking for a really good read, check out “The Four Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris
4. Stay on routine (Plan your day)
It is critical that you create a nightly routine and try to stick as close to it as you can. When you find that pattern, your internal clock will know when it’s time to start shutting down body parts. I find myself sometimes getting out of routine and it hurts me in the morning time. There have been times I just come and crash, then I wake up in the am feeling horrible. Sticking to the routine is very helpful.
5. Avoid the caffeine
Lastly, I would avoid caffeine late night or anytime after 1:00 pm. It takes roughly 14 hours for caffeine to exit the body and with so much energy going on, it will be hard for your body to find the resting period. So being that I’ve experienced all of the above, I encourage you to start finding a routine to stick with and go to bed when it’s time. Don’t fight it. You can literally survive off of 4 hours of sleep, but you have to sleep like you’re supposed too.
Those are my 5 hacks to getting a good nights rest. Please feel free to comment below with your tricks and tips. We would love to hear them.