Developing a nighttime routine may seem more appropriate for children in school, but it is important for adults too. Having a set bedtime schedule can calm and relax you thus improving the quality of your sleep. Here are a few tips for developing a nightly routine to improve your sleep:
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Stop Drinking Caffeine
Your last caffeinated drink should be no less than six hours before your bedtime. Depending on how sensitive you are to caffeine, you may want to stop drinking it even earlier than that. Some people have issues with the effects of caffeine after 10 hours. If you are particularly sensitive to it, you may want to stop drinking it at lunchtime.
Avoid Late Meals
Heavy or fatty meals are definitely to be avoided. Aside from the fact that heavy meals before bed will help you to gain weight, they can also affect the quality of your sleep. Food is fuel and your body may stay in a wakeful state for longer if it has food to metabolize. Try to make your evening meals lighter and do your best to eat earlier.
Lower Your Alcohol Intake
Even though alcohol may help you to get to sleep faster, the sleep you get may not be of a particularly high quality. You may find yourself awake again after only a few hours of rest. Furthermore, you may also find yourself with a hangover in the middle of the night.
Be Careful With Your Hydration
Of course, you want to ensure that you take in the right amount of fluids; however, be careful when you drink. Drinking too late can cause you to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
If you are a smoker, you probably already know that there are many reasons to quit. Here is one more: smoking as a part of your nightly routine can affect your sleep. Nicotine is a stimulant, which means that it can keep you awake. Not only will the nicotine itself keep you awake, the fact that you are not smoking while trying to sleep may cause withdrawal symptoms that keep you up.
Start Unwinding Early
This means cutting off your daytime activities and creating an environment that is conducive to relaxation. Stop using your computer or watching TV; in fact, you should stop your daytime activities 30 minutes to an hour before your bedtime.
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