Sleep is such a hugely important part of our lives. It’s out time to relax and recharge. We spend a third of the day doing it (if we’re lucky). Yet, it seems too many people experience difficulties falling and staying asleep.
Our fast-paced lives filled with emails and deadlines do their worst to keep us up at night. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do before heading to bed to help you get a full night of rest.
What To Do Before Going To Bed
Meditation: It’s a common suggestion, and for good reason! Anxiety is often cited as one of the top reasons people suffer from sleeplessness. Mindfulness techniques like meditation could help to ease the mind and allow you to drift off sooner, or writing out fears and concerns to get them all out of your head before bed and visualizing positive thoughts may also help ease nighttime anxiety.
Exercise: Some people may do better to relax their bodies along with their minds. Any sort of exercise that gets your heart rate up should help to increase sleep quality. Exercise releases endorphins, which can reduce stress, potentially leading to a more restful nighttime experience.
Try going for a jog, lifting weights, jump roping, or even faster-paced yoga to see if working out helps you find better rest. Be aware of your body, if exercise perks you up rather than relaxes you, it may be best to consider working out in the morning, instead.
Eat: Eating right before bed may be an issue, especially if acid reflux or potential weight gain might be a concern. However, there are several different types of heathy late night snacks that are considered conducive to sweet dreams if consumed a few hours before bedtime.
According to Reader’s Digest, dairy products can improve the quality of sleep because calcium helps brain use tryptophan, which is commonly known to be sleep-inducing because it promotes the release of serotonin and melatonin. Walnuts, honey, and hummus are just a handful of other helpful foods that may also promote the use of tryptophan.
While these recommendations have been known to work for many people, your nightly routine should be unique to you. Find out what works best, do what feels right, experiment and talk to your doctor to learn how to best care for your individual needs. To learn more about helpful techniques that could improve your rest, check out our bedtime tips and tricks that can improve your sleep hygiene.
Jill Zwarensteyn is the Editor for Sleep Advisor and a Certified Sleep Science Coach. She is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.