Is changing the time you go to bed the only thing you can do to sleep better?
At 10 pm you were dozing off on the couch and instead of sleeping there, you put yourself to bed – smart move. But at 4 am, your mind is hoping around like a handful of frijoles frying on a hot griddle. Entertaining but not very restful.
What should you do?
Simple. Look closely at your bedtime routine and eliminate the habits that are screwing with your sleep. Not sure which habits are to blame? This #sleeptip list will help.
8 things you need to do before you go to bed for better sleep
1. Stop drinking coffee at 2 pm – Still wired from your after-dinner coffee? Good luck falling asleep. If you’re lucky enough to fall asleep, you’ll likely be restless throughout the night and wake up earlier than normal. Caffeine lives in your system for 6-8 hours after your last sip. Related: Is your OCD (Obsessive Coffee Disorder) healthy?
2. Say no to a nightcap – Wine or beer with dinner is lovely and will relax you as nightfall sets but a nightcap before bed can lead to disrupted sleep. Related: Drinking and how it affects your sleep
3. Adjust the thermostat – Body temperature falls naturally during sleep and a room that’s too hot can create a swampy, sticky mess between the sheets. It’s gross but it also interferes with you getting the deep, healing stages of sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed. Related: 10 ways to beat the heat and sleep
4. Change your sheets – If you haven’t changed your sheets in a month, there’s probably more than 11 million bacteria PER SQUARE INCH. What’s more, those hungry little beasts are feasting on you every night when you climb into bed. Related: How to choose the best blanket for a good night’s sleep
5. Turn your phone to “night mode” – Checking your phone in bed exposes your brain to bright light, which is a signal it’s time to wake up. Apple products have a night shift mode and Androids have Twilight. Use them. Related: Electronics in bed and how they affect sleep
6. Get Fido a bed of his own – While as many as 40% of pet owners report sleeping with their pets, a lot of them also say their pets interfere with their sleep. If your sleep is disrupted, move your pet to another room for a week and see if that makes a difference. Related: Can sleeping with your pet affect your health?
7. Lose the snooze – It’s a morning habit but it sets you up for a tired day, which could spell trouble at night if you’ve napped because of it. When it comes to sleep, quality is more important than quantity and continually hitting the snooze button fragments your sleep. Related: What your alarm says about you
8. Get a new mattress – This might be a no-brainer but your mattress should be the hero of your sleep health. If it’s older than 10 years, sagging or otherwise worn out, it’s time to consider a replacement. What’s the cost of a good night’s sleep? If you spent $2,000 on a new mattress (for example) and slept comfortably on that mattress for 7 years, the cost of healthy sleep would be $1.27 per night – less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee in the morning… Related: 12 simple steps to buying a new mattress