Lack of sleep can increase your appetite during the day, and strengthen sugar cravings. Here are a handful of tips to get better sleep:
Wind down! At least one hour before bedtime, start quieting down and relaxing. Don’t exercise or engage in stressful thoughts or activities.
Turn off the handheld devices. The feeling that you need to constantly stay connected via text, email, or social media is a real problem for many when it comes to getting to sleep. Studies show the electronic signals from phones and tablets can disrupt sleep and melatonin production. Turn off your devices, and keep them out of the bedroom!
Read a magazine or book for fun. Lighter content or shorter articles are ideal. Don’t read about news or world events that make you upset. Don’t pick work-related reading material that will add to your nighttime anxiety.
Darken the room. Turn off the TV and close the curtains or blinds. Darkness is important for deep sleep.
Diminish noise. Experiment with using a sound machine to create white noise, or experiment with soothing noises such as rain or the lap of waves. Ceiling fans and air filters can work too.
Create a comfortable environment. A slightly cool room temperature, bedding, mattress, and sleepwear are ideal for comfortable sleep.
Go to the bathroom first. Waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom is a common complaint. If this is a consistent problem for you, do not eat or drink several hours before bed.
Check medications and nutrition supplements. Some people who take medications or supplements before bed may do better to take them in the morning when they wake up. Talk to your physician or nutrition counselor about changing your pill schedule if you think that you may be catching a buzz from your pillbox.
Write down solutions. Jot down a solution or plan to a worry, errand, or problem that’s on your plate for tomorrow. This helps to calm anxiety, organize thoughts, and reduce worrying.
Get a notebook and right before you go to sleep, write down all the To-Do’s that are going through your mind.
It might be an email you forgot to send, or an errand you have to run. Maybe some thoughts from a meeting you had earlier in the day are still on your mind.
If you don’t get these out of your head, they will be running through your mind all night, keeping you awake. Get it out on paper, and then forget about it! You’ll be more peaceful once you have written down the things that need done tomorrow.
Create a daily sleep routine. Aim for going to bed near the same time every night to build routine and consistency. Don’t sleep in too late on your days off. If you are someone who gets up at 6:00 am during the week but sleeps in until 11:00 am on the weekend, you are messing with your body’s natural clock.
Our bodies like routine. It likes to go to bed around the same time every night, and it prefers to wake up around the same time every morning. If we can do the same thing one hour before bed every single night, our bodies will automatically know to start producing the hormones that make falling asleep easier.
Don’t drink alcohol before bed. Alcohol does make you sleepy by dropping your blood sugar, but that can raise cortisol levels and wake you up in the middle of the night. Limit yourself to one drink before bedtime.
Think happy thoughts. Focusing on stressful events or worrying about the future are sure ways to make sure you spend the night staring at the ceiling. Focus on peaceful, happy thoughts and save your to-do list for tomorrow morning.