Counting sheep… backwards. Staring at the ceiling all night. Tossing and turning in bed, trying to find the perfect position. We’ve all been there, and 2020 has been more stressful than most. To help you achieve better, more restful sleep, here are some helpful tips to get you through the night.
1. Cut caffeine by the afternoon
Caffeine can stay in your body longer than you think. Some people are so sensitive that they should stop after that first cup of coffee in the morning! Try reducing your caffeine intake, or at the least stopping it by 2 PM.
2. Check your food and beverage intake
Limit liquids a few hours before sleep to avoid having to wake up to go to the bathroom. Avoid heavy or spicy meals 3 hours before bedtime. Avoid alcohol before bedtime, although it may help you fall asleep, it can cause sleep disturbances.
3. Eat some sleep enhancing foods
There is evidence that eating moderate amounts of protein before going to bed can improve the quality of your sleep. Try a glass of warm milk—dairy is an excellent source of tryptophan. So is turkey, which is why you want to take a nap after Thanksgiving dinner. Want to try a great dinner meal to get the nutrients you need to support sleep? Check out our delicious Sleep Supporting Salmon recipe.
4. Reset your circadian rhythm
Consider turning off electronic devices several hours before bed. Melatonin, the hormone produced by the pineal gland at night, serves as a time cue to the biological clock and promotes sleep anticipation. Help reset your circadian rhythms by taking a supplement containing it.
5. Invest in some blackout curtains
Light suppresses the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that makes you sleepy. And when there's too much light shining into the room, it makes falling asleep at night or staying asleep in the early morning much more challenging. Blackout curtains can trap heat in during the winter and keep heat out during the summer, making the temperature of your room more comfortable. While you’re at it, make sure to monitor your thermostat so the temperature is to your liking.
6. Evaluate your mattress
What you sleep on is critical to your sleep quality. Have you had the same mattress for over 10 years? Is it bumpy and lumpy, or like sleeping on a cloud? One third of our day and one third of our lives are spent in bed, why not invest in the most comfortable bedroom (mattress, pillow, sheets and bedding)?
7. Try a white noise machine to help you fall asleep
White noise buffers distracting sounds and creates a soothing environment, regardless of your surroundings or sleep situation. In your bedroom, white noise can be created by a fan or an air purifier, an app on your phone, or anything that is a consistent and soothing backdrop throughout the night.
8. Rethink your consumption of news
Are you catching up on the news on your smartphone or the TV an hour or two before bed? Are you “doom surfing” on the internet? That can have a negative impact on sleep.Try turning off all devices such as TVs and phones two hours before bed.
9. Exercise (during the day )
Working out during the day helps improve your sleep quality at night, reduces stress, and improves mood. If you exercise outside, maintain proper social distancing at least six feet away from others. Some people have trouble falling asleep if they work out too close to bedtime because it turns on the adrenaline, increases heart and breathing rates, and raises body temperature, so try exercising at least several hours before you go to bed if possible.
90. Reduce stress
Consider taking a supplement containing L-Theanine, which promotes relaxation and fights stress faced during the day. The evening may be a good time to perform some relaxation techniques, such as slow breathing or yoga. There are also many free resources available for bedtime meditation.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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