5 Helpful Tips for Restful Sleep

5 Hints for Good Nights RestIf you’re like many Americans, you’re probably not getting all the sleep that you should. Even if you can’t get a full eight hours on a regular basis, there are definitely things you can do to make sure the rest you do get is high quality — and uninterrupted. From creating a sleep sanctuary in your bedroom to changing up your diet, there are plenty of ways to help your body be ready to nod off and embrace sleep. Try these tips to get the rest you deserve:

1. Keep It Dark
It’s typical for apartment bedrooms to look out onto a common area that may be well lit at all times. While that’s a positive thing, extra light shining into your bedroom can make it hard to sleep. Combat this common problem with a set of light-blocking curtains or shades.

2. Avoid Screens Before Bedtime
All that blue light radiating off of your phone, tablet, or laptop can also disrupt your circadian rhythms, because your brain thinks it is daylight. This can keep you awake for longer, which in turn will leave you feeling groggy in the morning. Make a vow to turn off the screens at least an hour before bedtime.

3. Skip the Bedtime Snack
A sweet treat just before bed can send your blood sugar soaring, and the last thing you need before bedtime is a sugar rush. Even worse, a blood sugar spike will suppress your body’s natural production of melatonin, a crucial hormone for sleepiness. If you must eat before bed, try a high-protein snack instead.

4. Keep a Regular Schedule
Much of your sleep pattern is based on habit and the timing of your circadian rhythms with the sun. If you go to bed at different times every night, your brain will be confused about when to send sleep signals to your body. Putting yourself to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time each morning will help establish a solid pattern.

5. Get Exercise During the Day
A good workout will help you feel tired by the end of the day, and studies have shown that regular exercise can help even those with insomnia fall asleep faster. Cardio should be done several hours before bedtime, but gentle yoga stretches before bed can help you relax and embrace sleep.

The next time you find yourself tossing and turning, put one or more of these tips in place the next day. With some healthy new sleep routines, you should be enjoying a better rest in no time!