Getting a good night’s sleep can be tough at any stage in your life. In fact, it has been estimated that 90 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder at one time or another. But the good news is that you can learn how to sleep better at any age, and any stage in your life.
Those of us who are free of medical disorders are still susceptible to poor sleep habits. And not getting enough sleep can do more than leave us irritable, it can take it’s toll on us in other ways; poor concentration, emotional dysfunction and diminished physical performance.
If you’re having difficulty capturing a full night of rest, try these simple tips to cultivate better sleep habits so you can be more productive, happier and healthier.
How to Sleep Better in 8 Steps
1. Sleep in a dark room
Melatonin is a natural hormone your body releases to help regulate your 24-hour cycle of wakefulness and sleep. Unlike other familiar hormones like seratonin, which can be produced at any time, melatonin is only produced at night, and the darkness of your room will affect its production.
Make sure you’re getting the right amount of melatonin by completely shading any windows, and removing any light-emitting electronic devices like your TV or laptop.
2. Don’t eat a large meal before bed
Although eating a large meal will often leave you feeling lethargic, that doesn’t mean it’s going to lead to proper sleep. After consuming a large meal your digestion kicks into high gear, which can prevent you from reaching the deep stages of sleep needed for a restful night.
3. Skip the Alcohol
While drinking a glass of wine may help you fall asleep, a few hours after imbibing your body will be stimulated as the alcohol leaves your bloodstream.
If you are going to have a drink at night, finish it at least a few hours hitting the sheets.
4. Avoid stimulants
Antidepressants, Ritalin, Straterra and even caffeine are all stimulants that can shorten the REM stage of sleep, which is the deepest sleep level. If you want to sleep through the night,