Sleep needs and desires vary for each individual, yet some simple techniques can help most achieve deeper, more restful slumber.
Establishing a regular bedtime routine, forgoing long daytime naps and participating in physical activities are all helpful measures. Altering your sleeping position may also enhance quality rest while decreasing back and neck pain.
1. Change Your Sleep Position
No matter whether it’s back sleeping, side sleeping or stomach sleeping – whatever position you prefer has an effect on multiple aspects of your health and wellbeing. From orthopedist visits to overall restfulness – choosing your ideal position makes a bigger impactful statement than you realize.
Back sleepers tend to stretch out their spine and neck muscles, which is great for posture as well as helping reduce acid reflux risk. But if you prefer this sleeping position, make sure your pillow is thick enough so that you have proper alignment between your head and spine without compressing neck muscles too much.
If you prefer sleeping on your side, using a pillow between your knees can help keep your pelvis and spine aligned, providing relief from lower back pain and even menstrual cramps. Fetal position sleepers should avoid this position as it can lead to shoulder pain as well as worsen existing back and neck problems.
Finally, stomach sleepers might benefit from finding a pillow that keeps their head in an optimal neutral position and prevents tilting to one side or the other – as this may reduce neck strain. Of course, whatever works for you to ensure a restful and refreshing night’s rest and feel refreshed upon awakening is what matters most! So be sure to experiment with different pillows and positions until you find what best works for you!
2. Set a Regular Bedtime
Consistent sleep schedules can help ensure the best night’s rest; however, we all have changing schedules and needs, so being adaptable is key. If you tend to be an early riser but must wake early for work, try gradually shifting your bedtime earlier over time as this allows your body to adapt to a new sleep pattern.
Begin by determining how many hours of restful sleep you require each night in order to feel refreshed. Adults usually need around eight hours, which you can calculate by counting back from your preferred wake-up time. Once you know this number, set an ideal bedtime in order to ensure sound slumber each time.
An effective bedtime routine can also help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep through the night. Make time for reading, listening to soothing music or stretching before hitting the sheets – these activities should help your mind and body relax before hitting slumber. TV watching or using mobile phones before bed can keep you up; turn them off at least an hour beforehand as their blue light could disrupt melatonin production essential for healthy restful slumber.
3. Eliminate Distractions
Clean and organized bedrooms can help facilitate better rest. This could involve keeping toys and electronics out of the bedroom or moving them to an accessible area such as a living room; creating a space dedicated to sleeping will reduce distractions and bring peace and tranquility into the space.
Distractions like watching television, using your cell phone and checking email can have a devastating impact on your sleep. To minimize disruptions before bedtime, it’s wise to set an “all screens off” time an hour or two in advance – use do not disturb settings on your phone to block notifications and messages as an effective preventative measure.
Avoid blue screen TVs in your bedroom when trying to sleep as these can be highly stimulating and reduce levels of melatonin, the hormone responsible for inducing restful slumber. Also try not having your phone in bed with you and only use it for sleep or emergencies calls – limit how often you check it throughout the day as this can become quite addictive.
4. Don’t Drink Too Close to Bedtime
Sleep quality plays a critical role in how alert and energetic you are during the day. If you find yourself constantly fatigued and feeling lethargic, try these strategies for improving your rest:
If you must drink something before bed, opt for water, warm milk or chamomile tea – keeping liquid intake to a minimum can help avoid trips to the bathroom during the night. For snacks before sleep try yogurt with bananas, apple and string cheese or hummus with whole grain crackers as great options.
5. Eat a Snack Before Bed
Bedtime snacks can be the ideal way to satisfy hunger before sleeping, and many healthy foods contain nutrients known to promote sleep. Some even help your body naturally produce melatonin and serotonin!
Scott Beyer of Chiropractic Neurology Center of Illinois suggests in a TikTok video that eating a snack before bed to combat insomnia and improve your rest has gone viral, with millions trying it and reporting success stories from it working for them.
Although Beyer’s advice may be contentious, nutritionists agree that having a light meal an hour before bedtime can help improve sleep by helping balance adrenal hormones cortisol and adrenaline, encouraging deeper, restful restful slumber.
But the key is choosing a nutritious and low-sugar snack that will provide your body with energy for sleep. Celery with peanut butter and raisins (also known as an “ants on a log”) makes an excellent low-calorie choice that contains protein to help the body release melatonin.
Yogurt contains calcium and the tryptophan protein that has been shown to aid with sleep. For added sleep-promoting benefits, add some spoonfuls of berries into your smoothie for additional benefits.
An effective sleep-enhancing snack includes whole grain toast with hummus. This combination is packed with magnesium, which has been found to promote deep restful sleep. Just be careful when selecting food options high in sugar, salt or caffeine just before bed as eating anything too stimulating could keep you awake or cause acid reflux which would disrupt sleep.