Monday mornings can be hard—actually any weekday mornings can be hard—but they can be downright awful if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep. It’s a terrible feeling tossing and turning, waking up constantly in the night, knowing that if you don’t get some solid sleep soon, you are going to be useless tomorrow. And then your alarm clock sounds and you can think of nothing else but how nice it will be to be back in bed at the end of the day.
Despite what you might think, a bad night’s sleep is not just bad luck, it’s something you have control over. What you do in your day and how you prepare for bed affects your sleep. If you know what to do you can have a restful, solid sleep each and every night. Check out our tips for guaranteeing a good night’s sleep.
Exercise, but not too close to bedtime.
Daily exercise is a must for getting a good sleep. Without at least some moderate activity throughout the day, your body is in a state like you just woke up. A long walk, a trip to the gym or a number of other activities will have you appropriately tired out come bed time. However, one mistake many people make is exercising right before bed. This is setting yourself up for disappointment as the increased activity so late in the day will have your energy up too much to fall asleep. Cut out the exercise at least three hours before bed.
No naps longer than 30 minutes.
There’s a stigma against naps as being lazy, but they can in fact be very beneficial to the working professionals. Studies show that a short nap can actually help improve work performance. So if you can fit a nap into your daily schedule, don’t avoid it, but don’t over do it. A half hour nap refreshes you without taking away from your actual sleep, but anything longer will make you groggy during the day and rob you of sleep at night.
Keep your room dark and cool.
How your bedroom is kept is also a big decider in how well you will sleep. It’s nice waking up to the sun shining in through the window, but it’s likely to keep you up later and wake you up earlier. Try getting black-out curtains for your room to keep it completely dark until you are ready to wake up. Also, keep your room as cool as possible without being uncomfortable. It’s much easier to fall asleep in a cool room than in a hot one.
Introduce some white noise into your bedroom.
A noisy atmosphere can make it difficult to sleep but a completely silent room can have the same effect. If your bedroom is totally still and quiet, then any little sound can disrupt you. Adding some white noise to your sleeping area can help block out the distracting noises with out being a disturbance itself. You can purchase white noise machines, or a simple fan would also do the trick.
No screens an hour before sleep.
Nowadays. It’s hard to avoid screens. We work on laptops all day, we watch television to relax and then we fall asleep with our phones and tablets in our faces. While it can legitimately be a hard difficult adjustment, cutting screens out while you’re in bed can be a major factor in getting a solid sleep. Reading a book is much easier on your eyes which allows you to fall asleep faster.
Don’t eat before bed.
Try to keep your dinner time to earlier in night. If you plan to go to bed around 9 or 10, eat your meal around 6-7. This gives you a chance to digest your meal before resting for the night.
No caffeine after 2pm
Some people live on caffeine during the work day. It’s the only way they can keep themselves from falling asleep at the desk. Those people could probably use some of this advice for ensuring they can actually get some sleep and not rely on coffee. But if you are one of those caffeine addicts, be sure to cut back on it after lunch. Drinking even a caffeinated tea after two in the afternoon could have you up until way passed your bedtime.
Avoid alcohol, drink milk
Occasionally it can nice to unwind after a long work day with a cold beer or a glass of wine. There’s nothing wrong with that and we certainly aren’t going to condemn a little of such indulgence, but just like caffeine, you need to be wary of when you have you after work drink. Alcohol with dinner is fine, but if you drink much later than that, the alcohol will be keeping you up. Try a glass of milk before bed if you’re thirsty. It’s clichéd but clichéd for a reason.
Give yourself time to wind down.
Time to relax before bed is important not only for you sleep but just for your mental well-being. Working all day, right up until you crawl into bed is not fair to you and will have you tossing and turning in bed for hours. Stop work early and allow yourself some time to relax before going to sleep. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.