Sometimes it’s hard to be productive or focus throughout the day, have regular appetite patterns, and even the third cup of coffee is just not doing it for you. Let’s face it, it is making you irrationally irritated and it’s not just because you “woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” Maybe, just maybe, you are simply not giving your body the rest it needs. You feel so much better when you get 8 hours of sleep, but you’re not always getting it. And when you do, it really still does not help. We have put together a list of ways that you can make sure you get those hours of sleep in, and how to make them count.
Stick to a sleep schedule.
This means trying to go to bed at the same time every night, so that your biological clock will calibrate and improve your sleep. It is better to this in a transitional manner, first picking a waking up time, and going to sleep earlier (or later) each time. The goal is to try to make it an 8 hour long sleep.
Skip the naps.
It is mistaken that naps are essential for a body’s rest, but taking lengthy naps throughout the day, especially after 4 p.m. can really damage that biological clock we mentioned earlier. Instead, if naps are absolutely necessary, especially during the transitional period, try making them no longer than 30 minute “power naps
This is very important when it comes to sleep schedules, but just try not to do vigorous workouts within 4 hours of going to bed. All it takes is 30 minutes of cardio to keep you running and the blood pumping for several hours. Once the body has cooled down in that time, it will allow your body to produce melatonin- which is great news for insomnia!
Say no to that delicious Cappuccino after 2 p.m.
Don't get us wrong, coffee has its benefits. However, although it's tempting to try to counteract that “2 o'clock in the afternoon feeling” with a sip of caffeine, you have to say no to any coffee, tea, or energy drinks after this time. Usually, caffeine will stay in your body for about 8 hours, so it will either prevent you from falling asleep or inhibit your sleep patterns.
Keep your room cool
The recommended temperature to keep your bedroom is between 65° and 75°F. When your body shifts down to a cooler temperature, it naturally produces more melatonin. For this reason, a warm bath or shower is always a good idea before bed so that the cool air of the room can create this shift. However, once you're under those covers you shouldn’t be too hot or too cold in order to get the best sleep.
Try to fight the urge to toss and turn, both before and during the night. Take about 30 minutes to an hour preparing to actually go to bed by dimming the lights, reading a book, or just laying in the dark for a while in order to slowly fall into slumber. Sleeping doesn’t come with an off and on switch, so preparation is important. If there is a time when you wake up in the middle of the night, try to stay still in the darkness until your body decides to go back to sleep.
Get the TV out of the bedroom
One of the biggest mistakes people make is falling asleep watching a TV show. This may seem as harmless “white noise,” but you will inevitably wake up at points in the night. Also, any sort of screens such as laptops, TVs and phones will stimulate your brain, causing poor sleep throughout the night.