The National Sleep Foundation offers recommendations for a better night sleep, all of them connected to the concept of ‘sleep hygiene’ or having good sleep habits.
This brief list can help you improve the quality of your sleep by taking care of simple steps, one at a time:
Stick to the same wake time and bet time, even on weekends.
Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. Taking a bath or shower prior to bed can help you disconnect and could eventually become part of your ritual.
Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. There might be some of us lucky enough to be able to sleep through an afternoon and then sleep again for a good full night. But if that’s not your case, beware of late afternoon naps!
Evaluate your room. Identify any sources of disturbing light or noises. Even buzzing noises from power-plugged devices can negatively impact your sleep.
Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
Use light to help manage your circadian rhythms.
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening. Metabolizing all these will cause your body temperature to elevate during the night.
Wind down. Whether it is relaxation through breathing exercises, or unplugging from your phone and reading for some minutes; pick whatever makes you feel better and disconnects you from feelings of stress and anxiety.
If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.