8 proven hints to help you get a sound night's sleep

Having a sound night's rest is important for your health, something that can become increasingly difficult as you age. Here are eight tips to help you sleep more soundly without resorting to prescription meds.

8 proven hints to help you get a sound night's sleep

1. Follow a routine

Always try to go to bed and get up at the same times, or at least within an hour of your usual times.

  • Establish a calming bedtime ritual, such as meditation or a soak in a warm bath. Adding a few drops of relaxing lavender essential oil may help.

2. Resist taking a daytime nap

Avoid indulging in daytime naps as they may interfere with your nighttime sleep.

  • If you are a light sleeper, go to bed only when you are really tired.
  • You may find that spending less time in bed produces a deeper, more restful sleep.

3. Avoid overstimulation

Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee and chocolate, so you should avoid both for several hours before bedtime.

  • Experiment to see what suits you and your body: some people find caffeine consumed any time after ten o'clock in the morning is enough to prevent them from sleeping later on.
  • Alcohol and tobacco can also disrupt sleep, so avoid them for three hours before bedtime. Again, you may need to abstain for longer depending on how your body reacts.
  • Keep in mind that sex does not always act like a sleeping potion. Surprisingly enough, you may find it so stimulating that you stay awake for hours!

4. Eat light and early

Try to eat at least three hours before bedtime so the process of digesting food doesn't keep you awake.

  • If this routine isn't convenient, consider eating your main meal at lunch and a lighter meal in the evening.

5. Keep active

Regular exercise should help you get a good night's sleep.

  • Try to complete your workout at least two hours before going to bed. Otherwise, the rush of energy you feel from exercising may serve to keep you awake instead of lulling you to sleep.

6. Use your bedroom only for sleeping

Set aside another time and place for planning, thinking and worrying so you're less likely to toss and turn at night.

  • Ensure your bedroom is comfortable, dark and free of clutter.
  • If your bedroom is noisy, buy a "white noise" machine to block out external noise or play New Age music very softly.

7. Watch your fluid intake

Monitor your fluid intake at night before going to bed.

  • If you do go to the bathroom after bedtime, don't turn the lights on. They can signal "daylight" to the pineal gland, halting melatonin production and making it impossible to go back to sleep.

8. Be aware of side effects from meds you're taking

If you are on any medication, check to see whether there are side effects that include insomnia.

  • If there are, ask your doctor about different drugs or consider natural alternatives if available.

There is no single secret to a good night's sleep as everyone has their own unique needs and preferences. The key is to find out what works for you and to make an effort to get enough rest every night.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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