How to Sleep Better Tonight (and Feel Better Tomorrow)
How much better do you feel when you get a good night’s sleep? Getting enough quality sleep helps people feel more energetic, less irritable, and, well, better able to take on the world. But for many, sleeping well isn’t as easy as just turning out the light and getting into bed. If that sounds familiar, follow these tips to start sleeping better tonight.
Power down your devices
What you do right before going to bed can make a big difference in how quickly you fall asleep and whether you sleep soundly. And the worst thing you can do in that time? Look at a screen, whether it’s a TV, laptop, or phone. Set an alarm for 30 minutes (or better, an hour) before you plan to go to bed to remind yourself to shut off the devices then.
What’s in your room?
In addition to turning off your devices in advance of going to bed, try to keep them out of the bedroom altogether. To sleep well, your brain needs to associate your bedroom with sleeping. If that’s also where you watch TV, check social media, or send work emails, your brain won’t recognize it as a place for rest. But creating the association you need is pretty simple: just move the TV to the den and use your laptop or phone in another room.
Create a routine
Sticking to a routine can also be extremely helpful in improving sleep, and a big part of that is going to bed and getting up at the same time every day (with 7-9 hours in between those times, of course). Beyond that, a consistent bedtime routine can help cue your mind and body that it’s nearly time to fall asleep, and including relaxing activities only enhances that effect. A beneficial routine might be: drink a cup of chamomile tea, read a (physical!) book or magazine that’s not too stimulating, do some gentle yoga or a short meditation, brush your teeth, and then hit the hay.
When your normal bedtime is creeping up and you find yourself engrossed in a TV show or your Instagram feed, remember how much better it feels to get a good night’s sleep – and then follow these steps to get ready for bed.