Sleeping is underrated. We never give it the importance it deserves. It’s constantly sacrificed for late night movies, copious amounts of work, bedtime Instagram scrolling and nights out on the town. But what are we without adequate sleep? In the simplest terms, zombies. We’ll choose to sleep an abysmal 4-5 hours and complain about it at work the next morning. We’ll work way too hard to show efficiency and stay up the whole night finishing a presentation, only to be exhausted and super unproductive the next day. When you don’t get as much work done in the day as you would normally, the work goes home with you. And the cycle of sleep deprivation continues. We abuse our bodies to the extent that we forget how to sleep properly to give ourselves the rest we need. It’s time to change this. It’s time to know how to sleep better, to treat ourselves better.
A few basic changes to your routine can mean a world of difference in your activity levels, productivity at work and general presence of mind. Here’s how to sleep better in 2020.
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, but not at night
While your body needs to be well hydrated at all times of the day, you should avoid it at night. Don’t stay thirsty but don’t keep chugging water just before hitting the sack. As we all know, waking up to pee in the middle of the night is the worst feeling. If you’re lucky, you’ll fall asleep again quickly. If you’re not, you’re in for a night of tossing and turning and cursing your bladder.
2. Exercise for 30 minutes at some point in the day
In order to rest properly, you need to be active. While your mind may be exhausted, your body needs to be physically tired to sleep effectively. Keep 30 minutes aside every day to get some high intensity exercise so that your body feels the need to rest at night.
3. No screens after a certain hour
This is quite a no-brainer. Set a realistic bedtime which gives you at least 8 hours of sleep every night and put your phone away. Turn the TV off, and shove the laptop far away from the bed. If necessary, leave your phone on charge in another room. If your brain isn’t stimulated by that endless scrolling on social media, it will let you rest.
4. Cut down the alcohol
No, a drink won’t lull into a good night’s sleep. If you drink every day, stop. Limit your alcohol intake to twice a week. You will feel a significant change in your overall health and your ability to sleep better at night.
5. Set realistic daily targets at work and finish them
Unfinished business will keep you up at night. Making a realistic, daily to-do list helps. Put items which you know you can finish during work hours. Don’t stretch it to the very limit of your energy levels. When you strike off that last item, your brain will instantly start winding down for the night. While you shouldn’t take your home work with you, if doing this lets you sleep peacefully at a decent hour, go right ahead and take that laptop to bed. Remember not to cling on for too long though.
6. Get the best pillow and mattress
This is, by far, one of the best investments you will make. Pillows and mattresses are not cheap, but they’re also not a frequent purchase if you get it right. Take your time and get what you need. Your mattress shouldn’t be too soft or too firm, but to each their own. Make your bed the perfect happy place to retire to every single night.
7. Keep a clean room
This is a very important step in figuring out how to sleep better. You need to keep your sleep surroundings clean to get adequate rest. Who can sleep soundly in a filthy mess, right? Change your sheets once a week at least. Fold your clothes and keep them aside. Use a bedcover so that your sheets stay protected from dust during the day.
8. Eat light, homemade meals for dinner
An important part of knowing how to sleep better is knowing how to eat better. If you eat a heavy meal, you could feel uncomfortable at some point in the night. To avoid discomfort, and waking up with that discomfort in the middle of the night, eat a light, homemade meal. Cooking is known to be a stress buster, so making your own meals could also be relaxing at the end of a long day. This will also ensure that you wake up hungry, which will motivate you to get out of bed.
9. Stretch before bed
Stretching relaxes all the muscles which tighten through the day. While you’re slouching for hours over your keyboard, or being tense about a looming deadline, your body feels it. Stretch out your muscles in all directions before going to bed. You’ll feel a lot better, a lot more relaxed and prepped for a good night’s sleep.
10. Don’t ignore snoring
Whether it’s you who snores or your the person who shares your bed, you need to address it. Snoring is a problem for everyone involved which should get checked by a doctor. If you’re snoring regularly, it could be a sign of sleep apnea or other health problems, chronic or otherwise.
Follow these tips on how to sleep better and enjoy a happier, more relaxed 2020. Cheers to treating ourselves better!
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