Wake up happier with these 10 bedtime habits

Sleep is vital for physical, mental and emotional well-being. Today’s hectic, stressful lifestyles do not always allow people to get a good night’s sleep. Adopt these ten good bedtime habits to sleep better and wake up well-rested and happy every morning.

1. Set your body clock: Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day – even on weekends and holidays.

2. Make yourself comfortable: Your sleep environment should be cool, dark and quiet. Late in the evening, your body releases melatonin, a chemical which makes you sleepy, but it won’t flow if the lights are on. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive.

3. Establish a calming pre-sleep routine: Lay out night clothes, brush your hair or teeth, take a warm bath, practice relaxing breathing, read a book or listen to soothing music. Avoid anything that causes excitement, stress or anxiety.

4. Shut down electronics: It is best to keep work materials, computers, televisions, tablets and phones out of the bedroom. Blue light has been proven to disrupt sleep.

5. Avoid stimulants in the evening: Stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine interfere with sleep.

6. Don’t eat a heavy meal at night: Big meals can burden the digestive system making it difficult for your body to rest. Don’t stay hungry either. Limit how much you drink before bed to prevent frequent trips to the bathroom.

7. Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help you to fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep. But, if you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too energised to fall asleep.

8. Avoid napping during the day: If you choose to nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10 to 30 minutes and make it during the mid-afternoon.

9. Quiet the inner chatter: Keep a journal to process the events of the day. If you find random thoughts are preventing you from sleeping, you can write them down. Also, keep a ‘to do’ list for the next day to reduce anxiety.

10. Change your thoughts about sleep: If you think you are going to have trouble sleeping, then chances are you will. Talk yourself to sleep with positive thoughts. Don’t keep looking at the clock. If you don’t fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you’re tired.

Sources: www.powerofpositivity.com,sleepfoundation.org.www.mayoclinic.org, www.health.com, healthysleep.med.harvard.edu
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