10 Tips to Sleeping Easy

Healthy sleep habits are important for general health. For those at risk of obstructive sleep apnea, those who are overweight or getting older, these tips are paramount to getting a good night’s sleep. As we know, a good routine in the best practice, and following the guidelines here will help you get and maintain a solid nighttime routine.

1. Keep Your Coffee to Morning Time

Can’t get by without your morning cup of Joe? That’s fine, but try to keep caffeine limited to morning and early afternoon. Allow at least six hours before your bedtime to cut out caffeinated foods and beverages. Remember, it may show up in some surprising places, such as soda, tea, and chocolate.

2. Soothe Your Senses

Block out light and noise as much as possible while you’re trying to go to sleep. Light indicates to your brain that it’s time to wake up, and noises put your mind on alert, making it much more difficult to get some shut-eye. If you can’t avoid them, consider investing in a padded sleep mask or earplugs.

3. Nix the Naps…

While sometimes you just need a nap to get through the day, napping a lot can lead to difficulty sleeping later. Try to limit sleep during the day to no more than 45 minutes so you won’t be restless at bedtime. Frequent and long naps are also a sign that you are not getting good rest at night. This could be due to apnea and other sleep disorders.

4. …and the Nightcaps

While an evening drink may seem to get you to sleep quickly, alcohol adversely affects the quality of your sleep. It causes you to wake up more frequently, sleep lighter, and get up sooner. Avoid alcohol for at least four hours before going to sleep.

5. Keep It Cool

Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature. If your room is too cold, it may inhibit your sleep. Too hot, and you’ll wake up sweating. Figure out what’s comfortable for you and stick with it. If you’re not sure where to start, a good average is about 70 degrees.

6. Compartmentalize Your Space

Avoid using your bed for anything other than its intended purpose. Working, eating, or watching TV in your bed can cause your brain to associate it with these things, rather than sleep. Your bed should be limited to bedroom activities like sleep and intercourse.

7. Set a Schedule

If you can, choose specific times at which you plan to wake up and go to sleep every day. The more regular your schedule is, the easier your body will adapt. Soon, you’ll find that your body is ready for sleep when you are, and you’ll wake up refreshed. All the other items on this list should be integrated into a schedule. This is absolutely key to getting a good night’s sleep again and again.

8. Comfort Is Key

Make sure you’re using comfortable pillows, sheets and blankets. Scratchy or annoying bedding will have you up all night itching, tossing, and turning. Look for sheets and blankets with a high thread count and pillows that offer just enough support to keep your neck from resting at awkward angles.

9. Eat Light Late

Sugary, heavy or spicy foods right before bed can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Tummy aches and gas can keep you tossing and turning for hours. Avoid eating anything more than a light snack for at least four hours before bedtime.

10. Get Physical

Working out gives you an initial boost of energy, followed by relaxation. Work out often, but never right before bed, since that energy boost will keep you alert. Except for sex, avoid physical activity for a few hours before bed to allow your body to relax.

Even for some, doing all of these things might still prove difficult to getting good rest. Apnea and other sleep disorders can pervade a good schedule and healthy practices. If that is the case, consult with your doctor. A sleep study, CPAP machine, and other sleeping aids might be in order. Getting good rest is the best way to start the day.

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