The secret to getting good sleep every night

October 3, 2019

 
Getting good rest every night plays an essential part of staying healthy and well. Here's our tips to get the rest you need.

 

1. Set a regular bedtime.

Go to bed at the same time every night. Choose a time when you normally feel tired, so that you don't toss and turn. Try not to break this routine on weekends when it may be tempting to stay up late. 
 
2. Wake up at the same time every day
If you're getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock to wake up on time, you may need to set an earlier bedtime.

3. Nap to make up for lost sleep
If you need to make up for a few lost hours, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping late. This strategy allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm, which often backfires in insomnia and throws you off for days.

4. Naturally regulate your sleep-wake cycle
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin production is controlled by light exposure. Your brain should secrete more in the evening, when it's dark, to make you sleepy, and less during the day when it's light and you want to stay awake and alert. However, many aspects of modern life can disrupt your body's natural production of melatonin and with it your sleep-wake cycle.

 

Try to spend more time outside during daylight. Try to take your work breaks outside in sunlight, exercise outside, or walk your dog during the day instead of at night.

Let as much light into your home/workspace as possible.
Keep curtains and blinds open during the day, and try to move your desk closer to the window.

5. Boost melatonin production at night

Turn off your television and computer.
Many people use the television to fall asleep or relax at the end of the day, and this is a mistake. Try listening to music or audio books instead, or practicing relaxation exercises. If your favourite TV show is on late at night, record it for viewing earlier in the day.

When it's time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
The darker it is, the better you'll sleep. Cover electrical displays, use heavy curtains or shades to block light from windows, or try a sleep mask to cover your eyes.

6. Create a relaxing bedtime routine

Keep noise down. If you can' avoid or eliminate noise from barking dogs, loud neighbours, city traffic, or other people in your household, try masking it with a fan, recordings of soothing sounds, or white noise.

7. Keep your room cool
The temperature of your bedroom also affects sleep. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room (around 65° F or 18° C) with adequate ventilation.

8. Make sure your bed is comfortable
You should have enough room to stretch and turn comfortably. If you often wake up with a sore back or an aching neck, you may need to invest in a new mattress or a try a different pillow.

9. Eat right and get regular exercise

Stay away from big meals at night.
Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. Fatty foods take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and may keep you up. Also be cautious when it comes to spicy or acidic foods in the evening, as they can cause stomach trouble and heartburn.

Avoid alcohol before bed.
Many people think that a nightcap before bed will help them sleep, but it's counterintuitive. While it may make you fall asleep faster, alcohol reduces your sleep quality, waking you up later in the night.

 

By changing a few of your daily habits, you will reap the benefits of a restful night. Sleep well!

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