As with so many things in life, the better prepared you are the better the outcome. And when it comes to getting a restful night of sleep, the steps you take during the day, can go a long way in ensuring you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to roll. Try incorporating the following daytime habits into your daily routine for your best sleep ever.
Cut the Caffeine It can take up to six hours for the stimulating effects of caffeine to works its way out of your system. Keep your caffeinated beverages for the morning and eliminate drinking anything with caffeine 6 to 8 hours before bed.
Get Into the Sunlight Several sleep studies have shown that exposure to light in the morning helps reset your circadian rhythm for the next 24 hours, telling you to feel awake in the morning and also to feel sleepy when it’s time to hit the pillow later on.
Nix Daytime Naps If you have trouble sleeping at night, the idea of a nap sounds all-too inviting. Sleep experts warn avoiding falling into the nap trap as doing so can interfere with getting adequate shut-eye at night. If you find it impossible to keep your eyes open, opt for a 30 minute nap, max, and don’t nap at all after 4pm.
Take the Time to Unwind If only falling asleep was as simple as getting into bed, turning off the lights and closing your eyes. Experts agree that it typically takes the average person 30 to 60 minutes to relax and unwind before being able to fall asleep. If you jump into bed immediately after answering emails, writing your to-do list or making lunches for the kids, you may find it hard to fall asleep because your mind is still racing. Take some time before bed to take a warm bath, meditate, enjoy light reading or any activity that’s soothing.
Put Your Electronic Devices to Bed Just as your kids have a curfew, your electronic devices need a curfew. Why? The blue light emitted by TV, phone and tablet screens interferes with your sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm and tricks your mind into thinking it’s time to stay awake. Spending time playing games, surfing the internet or answering emails also keeps your brain stimulated and awake. Power down all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed.