How to sleep better at night? 10 Evening hacks
If you have trouble sleeping, and you’ve tried everything else, it could be that it is your evening ritual that is the cause of your insomnia. What we do in the hours leading up to bedtime can affect the quality if sleep that you will get when you go to bed. If you are tense, anxious, and you have a lot on your mind, the thoughts that are running through your mind will keep you awake and, if you haven’t relaxed enough before bedtime, that too will stop you drifting off to sleep. If you create an evening ritual for yourself that prepares you for sleep, you will be more relaxed when your head hits the pillows. If you are one of the many millions of people who do suffer with insomnia, read these ten hacks for the evening that will help you get to sleep faster and have a good night’s sleep.
1. Avoid eating a big meal too close to bedtime
If you eat a large meal too close to your going to bed, the food will sit heavy in your stomach and your body will have trouble digesting the food when you are lying down. To avoid getting indigestion at night, you should aim to eat your main meal at least three hours before you go to bed.
2. Dim the lights in the evening
This is another simple, yet useful tip on how to sleep better at night. When it begins to get dark, your body produces melatonin, which is the hormone that makes you sleep. If you have bright lights switched on in your home that hormone won’t be realised, so you won’t be ready to sleep when you go to bed. Dim the lights in the evening and then your body will know that it’s nearly time to go to sleep
3. Turn off computers and tablets
Another simple tip on how to sleep better at night is to turn off computers and tablets. The backlit screens that are used in most computers and tablets emit enough light to disrupt the production of melatonin. The screens on devices such as Kindles aren’t so much of a problem, but a standard computer screen will stimulate the brain and keep you awake. Avoid using any computers for at least half an hour before you go to bed and you will find that you sleep a lot better.
4. Don’t consume any caffeine
The stimulant effect of caffeine lasts for a lot longer than you realise. You might think that a cup of coffee at 6pm wouldn’t keep you awake, but that caffeine will still be in your system stimulating your brain at 1am in the morning. The best thing to do is to drink no caffeine at all after about 2pm and then, you will leave plenty of time for the caffeine to get out of your system.
5. Write a list of all your problems
It can be very helpful, if troubling thoughts are what is keeping you awake at night, to write down a list of your concerns and worries. Making list will help you get your thoughts organised and a plan of action set in your mind. When you go to bed, you will be able to sleep more soundly knowing that you have everything under control.
6. Lower the temperature
Another simple tip on how to sleep better at night is to slightly lower the temperature. One of the triggers that tells your body it’s time for sleep is a reduction in your body temperature. Turn down the thermostat setting on your heating, or open a window, both in your bedroom and in the living area of your home. When you begin to feel cooler in the evenings, your body will start to prepare itself for sleep.
7. Try a bit of light stretching
A full blown workout just before bedtime is not a good idea, because that will increase your heart rate and wake you up, but a little bit of light stretching will help to relax your muscles and make you feel sleepy. Try a few stretching exercises just before you get ready for bed and it will make your body feel more relaxed.
8. Take a hot bath
Taking a hot bath in the evening is well known way to relax the body and prepare you for sleep. Have a hot bath about an hour before it’s time to go to bed and then, as your body slowly cools down again, it will release melatonin into your system and prepare you for sleep. For this to be really effective, you need to spend about half an hour in the bath, so that your core body temperature rises.
9. Read a book
Just like when you were a child, a bedtime story can help you get to sleep when you are an adult as well. Immersing yourself in a fictional book will help you to forget the worries of the real world and it will calm you down. Just twenty minutes of reading should prepare you nicely for sleep.
10. Avoid drinking alcohol in the evenings
Whilst alcohol will make you feel dozy at first, it has been proven that it reduces the quality of sleep. If you drink alcohol in the evening it is likely that you will only sleep lightly, or that you will wake up again in the night.
How to sleep better at night? What are your best tips?