Lifestyle Routines for Better Sleep
Did you know that what you do during the day affects how well you sleep at night? You can get a better night’s rest if you make some changes to how you spend your day. Sleep isn’t something that just happens when you fall into bed. Your body gets primed for it all day. Learn how to make a few simple changes to your daily routine to keep you on track for good night sleep.
The number one rule of sleep success: Don’t save your largest meal of the day for dinner. Going to bed with a full belly could keep you awake longer than you would anticipate. Another thing you should pay attention to is what’s on your plate. Try eating meals that are high in fiber and low in added sugars to help you fall asleep faster. Instead of a large dinner, opt for a smaller dinner and add a light pre-bed snack made from foods that contain tryptophan. The amino acid has been shown to help send your body into sleep mode. Go for a glass of milk or half a banana with a few almonds.
Working Out Regularly
Make it a goal to exercise most days of the week. Physical activity lowers stress levels in addition to tiring out your body. Regularly working up a sweat improves sleep quality and increases sleep duration. And let’s be clear, you don’t need to put in long hours at the gym to reap the benefits. Just as little as 10 minutes of walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling will get the job done. Whether you’re an early bird or prefer late night sessions, the time of day you exercise doesn’t matter. There’s no one perfect exercise that will enhance your sleep, but these three specific activities are scientifically proven to help you get slumber.
- Aerobic Exercise – Activities that get your heart rate up, such as running, brisk walking, cycling, and swimming, have been shown to improve sleep and battle insomnia.
- Strength Training – Building muscle has been shown to improve the quality of sleep, and it can also help you fall asleep faster and wake up less frequently throughout the night. Try doing exercises like shoulder presses, bicep curls, tricep dips, squats, lunges, calf raises, sit-ups, and push-ups.
- Yoga – Yoga’s relaxing poses and stretches, as well as the calming breathing exercises that accompany them, may be especially helpful if stress is what’s keeping you from falling asleep.
Sticking to a Bedtime Schedule
The consistency of a routine helps signal to your body and brain that it’s time to sleep. Try creating a schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. End your evening with pre-bed rituals, such as a bath, reading a book, listening to music, or mediating. Be consistent and eventually you’ll start to notice that it’s getting easier to fall asleep.