Want to Sleep Better? 6 Daytime Dos and Don’ts
You probably already know what you do right before bed can impact your sleep, but did you realize that what you do during the day can too? Certain habits and behaviors can make it easier or tougher for you to fall asleep. Try these six quick adjustments to your daytime routine to snooze better at night and wake up with more energy:
- Exercise daily: It is recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day for good health, but exercise can also help you sleep better at night. Studies have shown that people who exercise during the day sleep more deeply and stay asleep longer. Try this quick ABC workout if you’re in a time crunch.
- Don’t go overboard with naps: Researchers say that 20-minute naps are all you need to feel alert and refreshed. If you nap for longer than that, it could keep you up at night or cause you to have trouble falling asleep. Health experts recommend taking naps in the afternoon, around 2 or 3 p.m., since it’s when you tend to have an energy dip and isn’t too close to bedtime.
- Cut out that afternoon latte: Caffeine can remain in the body for up to six hours after you finish drinking your coffee, meaning a 4 p.m. espresso can still impact your bed time at 10 p.m.
- Avoid heavy, late-night meals: More than just giving you an uncomfortably full stomach, rich late-night meals can affect how well you sleep at night. Research shows that it can boost your chances of waking up in the middle of the night, reduce your sleep quality and affect how long you spend in the REM sleep stage. Sometimes a late dinner is unavoidable, but try to eat smaller portions or lighter fare that’s easier for your body to digest. You can also try foods that help boost melatonin for better sleep, like certain fish and cherries.
- Wake up at the same time every day: It might be tempting to sleep in on weekends, but all that does is make it tougher to fall asleep when you need to on Sunday nights. Having a regular wake-up time every day helps your body get on a solid sleep/wake cycle, meaning you’ll be tired when you’re supposed to be.
- Prevent nighttime panic: One way to keep yourself up at night is to worry about everything you need to accomplish the next day. There’s one simple thing you can do to stay organized and stop your thoughts from keeping you up. Before you leave work, create a list of the next day’s to-dos and estimate the amount of time each task will require or make a to-do list before bed. Using meditation techniques before bedtime can also help relax the body and mind for restful sleep and sweet dreams.
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