We all have had nights where our mind is racing and it feels like the brain is working at a million miles per hour. Perhaps you only experience this once in a while or it could be an issue every night. Either way, the body needs quality sleep for many reasons – health, longevity, immunity, recovery, cognition, and the list goes on. Whether you need to wake up early for school or work, or get the blessing to sleep in there are always ways to improve your quality of sleep. Implement these steps and find yourself on the right path to a better nights sleep.
1) Sleep in a darker room. Any light (TV blinker, alarm clock, light under the door) can cause restlessness since our bodies are extremely responsive to environmental light. Try unplugging or covering up these objects before going to sleep.
2) The exposure to light from a laptop or television before going to sleep may decrease your bodies natural production of melatonin. Avoid these activities if you are having trouble sleeping. Instead, try reading a book, which requires use of cognitive skills and can make you tired.
3) Making your room cooler has been shown to increase the quality of sleep. Some good ideas before going to sleep are to turn up the air conditioning, crack a window, or turn on a fan.
4) Get into a routine. Your body has a built in biological clock that sets our rhythms and behaviors. Humans are creatures of habits and putting together a pre-sleep routine (brush teeth, wash face, foam roll back, etc.) at the same or similar time every night can have drastic effects on how fast you fall asleep and how well you stay asleep.
5) Try meditating. It may sound weird, but there are many free videos on YouTube and Google that can teach you how to meditate in minutes. Try picking up some of these techniques that you can do in your own room, whether on your bed or floor, and watch the quality of sleep improve in no time!