Sleep is one of the most impactful activities when it comes to our overall health—it effects weight loss, mood, memory, stress, and so many aspects of our work and home lives. However, getting a good night’s rest is sometimes easier said than done.
If you find yourself tossing and turning when your head hits the pillow, these easy tweaks to your nighttime routine will have you in dreamland in no time.
Put down your phone for a good read
It’s a good idea to turn off (or at least put away) your phone at least an hour before bed for a number of reasons: the light it emits can disrupt your internal clock, a work email that late could cause stress, and surfing social media can be a big time eater. Reading a good book will relax you while still keeping you entertained.
Keep a small journal in or on your nightstand, and try to write down three things you’re grateful for every night. This allows your focus to shift away from any worries and towards the positive.
Keep it cool
If you like having baths at night, try a cool shower instead. Help your body adjust for sleep by lowering the temperature in your room to between 65-72 degrees. Open a window or set up a fan if you can.
Try to avoid anything with alcohol, sugar, or caffeine. Instead have lemon water, cup of herbal tea (especially anything with camomile, valerian, or passion flower), warm milk, or cherry juice (which contains melatonin).
Eat your biggest meal at midday
Keeping your dinner light could really improve your quality of sleep. Make lunch your heaviest meal and focus on light, fresh foods at dinner. Avoid carbs, dairy, and anything acidic if heartburn keeps you up at night.
Count colors instead of sheep
If you’re really having trouble drifting off, counting sheep won’t cut it since it’s not engaging enough to distract you. With your eyes closed, try naming all the items in your room in a certain color. Alternatively, you could count backwards in another language, work your way through the alphabet coming up with cities or countries, or imagining yourself in a relaxing scenario in as much detail as possible.
Get out of bed
A light stretch can really help if you’re tossing and turning. Try a short, easy stretch in your bedroom without turning the lights on, focusing on long, deep breaths.