There’s nothing better than a good night’s rest and waking up feeling refreshed in the morning. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have the pleasure of experiencing this as much as we’d like. Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep are two common troubles experienced by millions of Americans each night.
Unbeknownst to you, you may be doing things that are causing your sleep troubles. In addition to stopping certain sleep-disrupting behaviors, you can adopt healthy habits that are known to improve the quality of your sleep. With the following 15 habits, you may find you fall asleep faster and stay asleep each night on your millet pillow.
1. Use your bedroom for sleep only
Your bedroom should be a sleep-inducing sanctuary, not a place to write emails or binge-watch Netflixon your iPad. It can be tempting to take your laptop to bed to finish off some emails or maybe even fold laundry, but when you do this, you tell your brain it is time to be alert and active. Unfortunately, these behaviors aren’t going to get your mind and body ready for sleep.
Instead, create an environment that minimizes mental stimulates and distractions, and ensure you have a comfortable pillow and mattress. A millet pillow will provide you with the head and neck support needed to have a restful, pain-free sleep. Your sheets and bedding also play an important role. A Tencel fabric sheet set will aid in temperature control and is moisture-wicking and breathable. They are also incredibly soft, making your bed extra inviting.
2. Get on a sleep schedule
Bedtimes aren’t just for kids. Research has found that when you go to bed at the same time each night, you will fall asleep faster. On average, you need about 8 hours of sleep a night. Suppose you need to wake up every day at a specific time; count backward to find out what time you would need to be asleep to get 8 hours. Then, start your bedtime routine at least 45minutes before this time.
Having a fixed wake-up time, even if you don’t have anywhere to be, is critical to achieving a consistent sleep schedule. When you sleep in on weekends and wake up at different times during the week, it makes it challenging for your body to become accustomed to a schedule.
3. Avoid eating big meals late at night
If you have a greasy cheeseburger and fries right before bed, you won’t have a great sleep. After eating, your body needs time to digest. When you are awake, it can do this efficiently, but when you go lay down, you may experience stomach pain or indigestion. Further, as your body is busy at work, it can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Try to keep your last big meal to a few hours before bed and if you are feeling hungry, try a light snack instead.
4. Nap strategically
A short nap can be beneficial and leave you feeling refreshed, but you need to time these carefully and not nap for too long; otherwise, it will disrupt your sleep at night. Try to keep your naps to earlier in the day, shortly after lunch, and no more than 30 minutes.
5. Put devices away before bed
The blue light from your laptop, cell phone, and tablet can disrupt your body’s production of melatonin. Research has found that when blue light enters your eyes, your pineal gland stops producing melatonin, and the closer the device is to your eyes, the worse it is for sleep. This light tricks your body into thinking it is still daylight, and so the chemical processes needed for rest are halted. Ideally, you should stop using these devices 45 minutes before bed and, if you can, keep them out of your bedroom.
6. Drink a sleep tea
Chamomile tea contains antioxidants that are known to help you sleep. In addition, when drinking tea with chamomile or other sleep-inducing herbs like lavender, you will experience a sedative effect that eases you into sleep and enjoy a better quality of sleep.
7. Stop smoking
Obviously, smoking is not good for you. There are a range of health risks with smoking and it can also disrupt your sleep. Research has found that exposure to smoke, like secondhand smoke, can trigger sleep problems. So if you smoke, try to quit or cut back, and if you don’t, avoid exposure to it.
8. Monitor caffeine intake
When feeling sluggish or tired, we often reach for a coffee or sugary soda, and though it may give us a jolt of energy at the time, it can cause sleep troubles later. When it comes to caffeine, you don’t want to overdo it. If you find you have difficulty falling asleep at night each time you hit your millet pillow, try cutting back. In addition to reducing the amount of caffeine you drink, you should also stop drinking it earlier in the day.
9. Spent time outside in natural light
Spending time outdoors in natural light will help regulate your circadian rhythm. Your internal clock is regulated by natural light exposure, so if you can get outside, you’ll receive the most potent effects. This can make you feel more alert during the day and help you sleep better at night.
10. Exercise regularly
According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, those who get regular exercise sleep better. A walk, weight lifting, or cycling can improve your physical and mental health as well as improving the quality of your sleep. For better sleep, avoid strenuous workouts right before bed. This can get your heart rate up and make it challenging to fall asleep. Working out in the morning or early afternoon is best for sleep.
11. Take supplements
For regular body function, you need plenty of vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, many people's diets don’t provide them with enough, which makes supplementation so important! Taking supplements can help your body function as it should and improve your sleep quality. More specifically, taking magnesium glycinate can help you achieve better sleep. This crucial mineral is needed for sleep, yet the majority of Americans are deficient. When taking it as a daily supplement, you will experience significantly better sleep.
12. Establishing a calming pre-sleep routine
Doctors recommend a pre-sleep routine to help get your mind and body in the right space for sleep. Meditation, drinking tea, or listening to soothing music can help reduce stress and make you feel more tranquil. Get into some comfortable clothes and keep the temperature cool. Depending on your pre-sleep routine, you can do it in bed or your bedroom. Some doctors don’t recommend reading or crossword puzzles as they could be too mentally stimulating; however, some say they can be beneficial if they take your mind off the day's stress. Play around with your pre-sleep routine and see what works best for you.
13. Keep the temperature cool
If you are too hot at night, you won’t sleep well. Our body temperature naturally decreases at night, and you can help trigger sleep by lowering the temperature. Research suggests that the ideal temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees. You still want to be comfortable so ensure you have warm bedding like a Tencel fabric sheet set. Everyone perspires in the night, but some may sweat more than others.
If you have woken up hot in the night, you may benefit from a cooling pillow. A millet pillow has naturally cooling properties providing you with a cool and comfortable sleep.
14. Use sleep-inducing aromas
Certain aromas, like lavender, are known to have a calming effect and can ease you into sleep. To benefit from these scents, you can add lavender buds to your millet pillow, use linen spray or lavender essential oils.
15. Reduce alcohol intake
After a couple of glasses of Merlot, you may start to feel drowsy, but for many, these sleep effects are short-lived. Although you can initially feel drowsy, alcohol affects the brain in a way that reduces the quality of your sleep. Swap out the nightcap for a cup of sleep tea, and you’ll feel must more refreshed in the morning.
If you don’t practice any of these healthy sleep habits, there is a chance you have unhealthy ones.
Staying up late while scrolling through Instagram with a glass of wine beside your bed is not doing you any favors. Instead, write down the new healthy sleep habits you want to adopt. What will your ideal bedtime routine look like? Put pen to paper and decide how you will improve your sleep habits.
Initially, you will need to put forth a conscious effort, but with time it will become an unconscious and cherished part of your day. Before you know it, as soon as you crawl into your Tencel fabric sheet set and lay on your millet pillow, you’ll be fast asleep.