In today’s world of 24/7 internet and work that never quite stays at work, it’s tougher than ever to get a solid night of sleep. For the sake of your health and happiness, you not only need enough sleep; you need a good sleep.
Bedtime routines are as important as getting to bed at a reasonable time. Here are some tricks you should work into your night.
1. Eat Less
Your organs and metabolic system slow down when you go to sleep. For weight watchers, beware that any food left unburned in your body when you call it a night gets stored as fat. For a happier digestive system too, you would not want all that fiber to go underprocessed overnight. The energy your body devotes to digesting and absorbing the food can take away from the other more vital organs’ functions at night.
2. Less Chitchat
We could cut down on city gossip in general, especially before bed. Small talk may seem harmless, but it can get your brain excited, unnecessarily adding trouble to the process of falling asleep. Take time during your teeth-brushing or shower to gradually, mentally turn off so you fall into a peaceful slumber.
3. Set a time to go off-screen
It’s true that we always have more work to do. No rest for the wicked and all that, and now we have a million devices that help us do work every hour of every day. The wise thing to do is to finish the juice-sucking electrical-intellectual labor an hour before bed. Dim the lights. Start signaling your brain to relax by doing relaxing things. When was the last time you read an email or a text message that relaxed you?
4. Cool down from your fights
Fights with family, friends, and colleagues happen, and in the tightly-packed metropolis, it seems like there’s always someone around who seems custom-designed to aggravate us. But fights should not carry over into your sleep. Take a deep breath and call whoever it was to apologize for your part before turning in for the night. Sure, they might still be an insufferable idiot, but if not for the other person, do it for your own better emotional equilibrium.
5. NO caffeine
Say no to insomnia by saying no to rich tea, coffee, and all caffeinated drinks after dinner. We know you’ve convinced yourself you can’t walk a block without a shot of espresso, but you don’t want to be so high on life that you waste your nights staring at the ceiling.
6. Close your mouth when you sleep
The Chinese have a saying: “Illness enters through the mouth.” Luckily, breathing in exclusively through the nose can prevent germs as well as excessively cold air to enter your lungs and stomach. If you wake up with a very dry mouth or a sore throat, it could be you’re sleeping with your mouth open. Try changing positions, or invest in a proper pillow, which will help keep your head at the right angle as you sleep. And think of all the spiders that can’t crawl into your closed mouth.