We all know how important adequate sleep is, so I'm not going stress the need to sleep 8 hrs or describe the effects of sleep deprivation. Besides, some people can function on 7 hrs while others need a full 10 hrs to feel their best, so how much sleep you need varies. And when life is busy, it can come down to the fact that we just do not have time to sleep enough. So if your time is limited, but want to make the most out of the precious few hours of sleep you do have, read on my friend.
So first off, let's go over the two deciding factors for better sleep: sleeping faster and sleeping soundly.
These two factors go hand in hand and the tips I will provide can help you sleep faster and more soundly.
1) Cut down on your electronic usage 1-2 hrs before bed. The blue light from computers, television, phones, will make your brain think it's daytime. Daylight has more blue light while the evening has more orange, red light. When your body thinks it's daylight, it will suppress your melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone controlled by light exposure and more of it will induce sleepiness.
2) Exercise during the day. Exercising will make you tired, which in turn will make you more drowsy when it's time to sleep. I personally feel like I get better rest after exercising. Just make sure you don't exercise too close to your bedtime because that will increase your heart rate and have reverse effects.
3) Keep a nightly journal. If you're one of those people whose minds go haywire once laying on bed (I am guilty of this), writing down your thoughts will help. Once you end the non-stop thinking, you'll sleep so much faster.
4) Associate the bed with only sleep..and sex. So don't live on your bed all day everyday, doing your makeup, eating, watching tv, doing homework on it. Once you associate the bed with sleep, you'll psychology want to sleep.
5) If you still haven't fallen asleep, get up. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but it works in the long run. If you feel like it's been a while and you're still wide awake, do not force your body to still sleep. By training your mind to sleep in less than 10 minutes or not sleep at all, you can be sure to fall asleep quicker.
6) Eat a melatonin rich food before bed. Now this doesn't mean have a great big feast, no feasts or bad. But an empty stomach is also bad. Oh the conundrums of life. Having a light melatonin rich snack about 30 minutes before sleeping will help you feel sleepier. Melatonin rich foods include bananas, milk, oats, tomatoes, and pineapples.
I hope you guys have learned something from my few tips. If you have a method of getting better sleep that works, I'd love to know.