How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep is more important than you may realise. Those seven to nine hours of rest time affects your entire body for the coming day. If you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, here are ten ideas to turn your rocky night into smooth sailing.

1. Adjust the temperature in your room. You may not have a separate control but the entire household can benefit from a cooler temperature for snoozing. High humidity makes it harder to fall asleep comfortably.

2. Resist the urge to do any work or watch television in bed. When you perform other tasks in the bedroom, your brain doesn’t associate your bed with sleep only. When you turn on the television, the mind revs up instead of slowing down for rest.

3. Play soothing music. Slow, instrumental tunes lull the body and the mind to sleep. It can be a nightly signal that sleep is coming and the body will begin to relax.

4. Diet and exercise can improve sleep patterns. Extra weight on your body frame can lead to leg and/or back pain. Lying down can shift the weight and make it uncomfortable to sleep in certain positions. Even losing ten percent of your body weight can lead to a more comfortable and sustained sleep.

5. Take a warm bath or shower before bed. Use soothing bath oil cleansers like lavender and chamomile to put you in the mood for relaxation and sleep. Light a few candles around the tub to enhance the effect.

6. Begin a night-time routine to induce sleep. Too many of us go right from working or doing chores to hopping in the bed. The mind is still reeling with tasks done and those still to be accomplished. At least half an hour or 45 minutes before bedtime, begin a ritual of bathing, massage, soothing music, darkening the room, meditation and other things to prepare for bed. Try the same routine each night.

7. Go to the bathroom. You don’t want to wake up from a sound sleep to urinate. Going to the bathroom before sleep leads to longer periods of rest.

8. Go to bed at an earlier time. Length of sleep time is as important as the quality. For body function, it is recommended that you sleep at least seven to nine hours each night. Better sleep leads to waking up on your own instead of hitting the snooze button.

9. Don’t drink caffeine before bed. Some people have a relaxing cup of tea, but tea contains caffeine which is a stimulant. Instead of getting sleepy you get more wide awake.

10. Don’t eat before bed. Food in the stomach can lead to heartburn (especially if you are overweight). Some say eating before bed causes bad dreams but that is an old wives’ tale.

Sleep is important for body function and cellular repair. Without enough sleep each night, you are more affected by stress and disease. Protect your body and boost your immune system with these sleep ideas.