If you are having trouble sleeping and spending significant amounts of time in bed, adhere to the quarter-hour rule. Going to sleep at the same time each night helps your body clock predict when it is ready for sleep.
Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day actually does wonders for sleep quality. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends or when you are traveling. If you struggle with falling asleep, it is best to train your body to relax and settle in by having a routine before going to bed every night. Getting out of bed for a brief period of time may help you if you have difficulty falling asleep at times, or you wake up occasionally and cannot get back into bed.
If you are having trouble sleeping, try to avoid working out for two hours before you sleep. Developing healthier habits around bedtime can help you sleep better. Some natural methods–such as having a consistent bedtime routine, not using screens right before you go to bed, reading a book right before bed, doing light exercises throughout the day, and practicing specific mindfulness techniques–can help.
You may also want to try developing a soothing bedtime ritual that helps prepare your mind to fall asleep, like practicing a relaxation technique, taking a hot bath, or turning down the lights to play soft music or an audiobook.
Taking a bath or shower can be relaxing and helps to prepare your body for sleep. Taking a warm bath right before you go to sleep is a great idea, as your body will be cooler faster after getting out of the bath, helping you fall asleep. While not a substitute for sleep, relaxing still helps to rejuvenate the body.
While it may seem like deeper sleep is difficult to achieve, there are a variety of ways that you can try to achieve deeper sleep.
It is well known that moderate aerobic activity increases the amount of nutrients-rich slow-wave (deep) sleep that you receive. The more vigorously you exercise, the stronger the sleep benefits. Research shows that exercise is associated with better (and deeper) sleep; however, vigorous exercise done too late in the day can delay the ability to fall asleep, says Colin Espie.
Take a nap?
Napping in the afternoon might seem like a great way to catch up on lost sleep, but this may result in a more inconsistent nap time and quality of sleep at night, says Espie. A review of studies concluded that while eating a high-carb diet can make you fall asleep quicker, it is not going to make you get more restful sleep. This tip requires some advance planning, but a study found that eating carbohydrates four hours before bed helped people fall asleep faster and sleep better.
If we are a little short on sleep one night, our natural tendency is to try and make up for the deficit the next day. Getting a good nights sleep makes a huge difference in the way we feel, both mentally and physically, so getting plenty is essential.
If you have to take a nap, set your alarm to keep yourself from sleeping more than an hour. Even before that time when you are lying in bed, forcing yourself to go to sleep, you need to get disciplined about carving out some time in the evening for relaxation.