We all love a good night’s sleep; it is what’s necessary for our bodies to stay healthy and strong. Unfortunately, many of us suffer from disturbed or lack of sleep, which all-too-often leaves us feeling grumpy, foggy, and reaching for that double double.
You know – those days when hitting the snooze button seems like a good idea. Until you forget to brush your teeth and are forced to grab a shirt from the dirty hamper to get to work in time. We’ve all been there, some of us more than others.
The good news is that the choices we make during the day have a big impact on our quality of sleep at night. Here are 10 ways to take control of your sleep so you can get that quality shut-eye you’ve been missing.
1. Keep the bedroom exclusive
For sleeping (and sex, of course!). The bedroom should be a sanctuary that induces slumber. Ban the TV or computer, which is stimulating, and read a book instead.
2. Keep it clean
Admit it guys—one of the reasons you like staying at your girlfriend’s is because her bed sheets smell so fresh. The bedroom should be a clean, relaxing sanctuary to help induce sleep.
3. Cool down
A warm room isn’t conducive to sleep. The bedroom should be cooler than the rest of your home, about 15-18 degrees Celsius.
4. Darkness reigns
The human body is programmed to wake when it’s light and sleep when it’s night. Keep the bedroom dark with heavy curtains and cover the LED lights in your electronics.
5. Nix the booze
Don’t be fooled by alcohol’s sedative effects – they actually thwart a good night’s sleep.
6. Curtail spicy food
Heavily spiced food—or just a heavy meal—also disturbs sleep.
7. Eliminate stimulants
Coffee, tea and nicotine will wreck your sleep patterns, so switch to decaffeinated drinks in the afternoon and nix the cigarettes. Even chocolate, which contains a stimulant similar to caffeine, can hinder a good night’s slumber.
Exercise makes you physically tired, which helps you sleep. But exercise a few hours before bedtime does the opposite because it boosts your adrenaline levels.
9. Stick to a routine
If you go to bed at about same time every night, you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep. A wild weekend can throw your sleep routine off.
10. Limit the water you drink before bed
Drinking too much water right before bed will have you up to use the bathroom during the night, disrupting your sleep. Make a point of drinking water throughout the day to avoid feeling thirsty when it’s time to sleep.