Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

According to a Consumer Reports survey, 27% of US adults say they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep most nights. Scientists believe this is both due to Americans working longer hours and spending more time on electronic devices. Whatever the reason, there are steps you can take to get a better, more satisfying night of sleep. Try some of these helpful (and research-supported!) tips:

Establish a soothing nighttime routine
One of the best ways to get a better night’s sleep is to establish a specific, relaxing routine and begin it at the same time every night. Whether it involves soaking in your hot tub, reading a book, or listening to music, these calming activities help to tell your brain “it’s time to go to sleep soon”.

Put electronics (phone, TV) away
The bright lights of your cell phone and TV are very stimulating for the brain. You should not look at any devices that emits blue light an hour before you go to bed if you want the best sleep possible according to WebMD. These lights are very stimulating and do no help in trying to power down your brain for a good night’s rest.

Soak in a hot tub
Multiple studies have shown that soaking in hot water before bed promotes both better sleep and falling asleep faster. The rise in body temperature when you get into a hot tub, followed by a rapid decrease of body temperature when you get out makes you more tired. Not to mention, it can be added to the soothing nighttime routine that we mentioned earlier!

Exercise daily
Exercising during the day and living an active lifestyle is a key component of a good night’s rest. As far as what time of the day you should work out, that’s up to you. Some researchers say that you shouldn’t work out three hours before bed, but other researchers say that it doesn’t matter. According to the Beachbody blog, the bottomline is that you need to know yourself and what works for you. If exercising gets you hyped up before bed, we suggest you find an earlier time to do it.

Be careful of what you eat before bed
We’ve all tried to fall asleep with a stomach ache and know that it’s just not fun! While having a small snack is okay and going to bed hungry will likely keep you up as well, experts at the Mayo Clinic advise you not to eat large portions before bed. We also suggest you avoid eating anything that has caused you stomach pain or indigestion in the past. Basically, maybe you should stray away from the giant plate of Mexican food right before bed.

Make sure your bedroom is ideal for sleeping
Mayo Clinic also suggests that the best environment for sleeping is a room that is cool, dark, and quiet. Make sure that your room reflects these traits, or whatever traits work best for you. If your room is not dark enough, we suggest blackout curtains. They are a huge help when trying to eliminate any light coming from your window! We also suggest covering up any bright alarm clocks or any other light that is admitted by electronics.

While these tips and tricks can help you get a better night’s sleep, they can not cure insomnia. If you feel as though your lack of sleep is severe and you are struggling to fall sleep almost every night, you may want to see your doctor.