It’s no secret that the quality of our sleep can have a huge impact on our daily activities. But did you know that the opposite is also true? In fact, our lifestyle can have an impact on the quality of our sleep and, consequently, on our quality of life. Here are a few rules to help put an end to the vicious cycle.
1. Respect your sleep schedule
Set a sleep schedule and try to stick to it. It is recommended to always get up and go to bed at the same times every day.
2. Drink less caffeine
If you can’t live without your morning coffee, at least give up your afternoon cup as caffeine stays in the system much longer than we think. Also avoid other stimulants like soft drinks, tea and vitamin C.
3. Go to bed on a light stomach
Avoid eating big meals or snacks before bedtime. It’s better to eat a lighter supper than lunch. Also, try to avoid drinking too much liquid in the evening.
4. Limit your alcohol intake
While it may seem that alcohol can help you fall asleep, your sleep may actually be more troubled once the effects start to wear off. It is recommended to avoid alcohol in the hours before bedtime.
5. Take shorter naps
If you feel the need to rest during the day, make sure not to sleep for more than 30 minutes as longer naps could interfere with your nighttime sleep.
6. Prepare for sleep an hour in advance
Lower the lights, turn off your electronic devices—TV and phones included!—and start to relax about 60 minutes before going to bed. You can take a bath, read a book or listen to soothing music. It helps to get the brain ready to go into sleep mode.
Exercise regularly—a little each day, if possible—to help you fall asleep.
8. … but not right before bed!
Avoid exercising too strenuously in the evening and opt instead for relaxing activities like yoga or meditation.
9. Make sure your room is in total darkness
Even the faintest light can interfere with the quality of your sleep. If light filters into your room, consider wearing a dark sleep mask.
10. Regulate the room temperature
Not too hot, not too cold, set your thermostat between 18 and 20° C. Also air out the room as often as you can.
Sleep and medications
If you take medications and, despite good sleep hygiene, you still have trouble sleeping, ask your pharmacist to check to see if your medications could be part of the problem.
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