6 Easy Ways to Get Better Sleep
Posted on Jun 17, 2016
A good night's sleep affects your performance during the day. Improve your mood, productivity and energy when you take six easy steps that help you get better sleep every night.

1. Cut the Caffeine to Get Better Sleep

The coffee, tea or soda you drink in the afternoon could keep you up at night because caffeine remains in your body for up to eight hours and increases your need to pee. Cut the caffeine by at least 3 p.m. to get a better night's sleep. You may need to stop drinking caffeine even earlier or cut back your overall intake if you continue to have trouble getting to sleep.

2. Eat Smarter at Night

The foods you eat before bed affect your ability to sleep. Get better sleep when you avoid big meals and rich, acidic, fatty or spicy foods in the evening. You should also avoid alcohol at night because it helps your relax before bed but then hinders your sleep cycle. Alternative nighttime snacks vary based on your dietary preferences, but you could try a small bowl of whole grain cereal, small turkey sandwich, banana or granola with yogurt.

3. Don't Exercise Before Bed

Regular exercise can help you stay awake during the day and sleep better at night. However, don't exercise vigorously within three hours of bedtime or you could have trouble falling asleep. You may even need to time your exercise to end six hours before bedtime to optimize your sleep.

4. Turn Off the Electronics

The blue lights on your electronic devices stimulate your brain and interfere with melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall asleep. That's why you should turn off your phone, TV, computer and tablet at least two hours before bed time. If that's not possible, use devices with a smaller screen, turn down the screen brightness or adjust the color with f.lux or similar software.

5. Reclaim Your Bedroom

Instead of allowing laundry, paperwork or toys to take over your bedroom, reclaim it for sleeping. Clear out the clutter by removing anything that's not essential for a good night's sleep. Then make sure your mattress, pillow and bedding are comfortable, adjust the temperature so the room is not too hot or too cold and install window treatments that keep the room dark. With these steps, you reclaim your bedroom and get better sleep.

6. Meditate

Worry, stress, anger and anxiety can affect your sleep quality. Try meditating before bed as you calm and relax your mind and body. To get started, breathe deeply with your eyes closed. Next, tense your toes as tightly as you can and then fully relax them. Continue tensing and relaxing your muscles from toe to head. Additionally, visualize a calm, peaceful place and think about how relaxed you feel. This meditative exercise reduces negative emotions and helps you feel calm enough to sleep peacefully. Get better sleep when you take these six easy steps. They require you to make small tweaks to your routine but yield beneficial results.

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