1. Stick to a schedule. Mum was right when she set a time we always had to go to sleep as kids. Sticking to a schedule allows your body to set its internal rhythm clock so you can get up at the time you want, consistently, every single day. Also, make sure you try to keep the same schedule on weekends too, otherwise the next morning you will wake later and feel overly tired.
2. Sleep only at night. Avoid daytime sleep if possible. Daytime naps steal hours from nighttime slumber. Limit daytime sleep to 20-minute, power naps when needed.
3. Exercise. It’s actually known to help you sleep better. Your body uses the sleep period to recover its muscles and joints that have been exercised. Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise every day can help you sleep, but be sure to exercise in the morning or afternoon. Exercise stimulates the body and aerobic activity before bedtime may make falling asleep more difficult.
4. Taking a hot shower or bath before bed helps bring on sleep because they can relax tense muscles. Try a lavender soap for the calming aroma.
5. Avoid eating just before bed. Give yourself at least 2 hours from when you eat to when you sleep. This allows for digestion to happen (or at least start) well before you go to sleep so your body can rest properly during the night, rather than churning away your food.
6. Avoid caffeine. It keeps you awake and that’s not what you want for a good nights sleep. If you need a warm drink try a soothing green tea or warm milk with honey.
7. Read a fiction book. It takes you to a whole new world if you really get into it. Then take some time to ponder over the book as you fall asleep. I find as I read more and more, regardless of the book, I get more tired at night and so find it easier to fall asleep.
8. Have the room slightly cooler. Your body temperature does not need a warm room and bed covers so turn off the heat and allow the night air to circulate in and out of the windows. If I get cold, I wear warmer clothes or use a heavier quilt in the colder months.
9. Sleep in silence. I find sleeping with no music or TV far more restful. I guess others are different, but sleep with no distractions is best for a clearer mind.
10. Avoid alcohol before bedtime. It’s a depressant; although it may make it easier to fall asleep, it causes you to wake up during the night. As alcohol is digested your body goes into withdrawal from the alcohol, causing nighttime awakenings and often nightmares for some people.