These past few months, my sleep schedule has really gone to the dogs. I barely know which way is up, let alone what day it is or when it’s time to go to bed. I’ve spent so much time lounging indoors while social distancing that my body seems to think it’s in a perpetual state of rest. All these elements add up to a rather horrible night’s sleep.
With businesses starting to open their doors again, I think it’s high time to get my rear in gear and get my sleep schedule back on track. I had some trouble at first, but with a bit of determination, I’m sleeping like a baby once again. These three tips for getting the best sleep of your life can put you on the path to dreamland, too.
Build a better bed
It shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to y’all, but your bed may be the biggest culprit behind your restless nights. As with any product, beds and mattresses tend to lose their structure over time, leady to a lumpy and unsatisfying night’s sleep. Replacing your mattress and pillows may seem like a minor change, but it can significantly improve your quality of sleep. Try to find a mattress that matches your ideal sleeping conditions. There are many different variations of mattresses—from memory foam to adjustable sleep settings and even ones that keep you cool all night long—so you’re sure to find something to suit your needs. Just sure to dispose of your old mattress in a suitable fashion, either by donating it, recycling it, or contacting a waste management team to pick it up.
Choose pillows and sheets that encourage relaxation as well. Changing your sheets according to the season will keep you comfortable all night and all year long.
One of my favorite tips for getting the sleep of your life is to power down your electronics before you go to bed. Coincidentally, it was also one of the hardest habits for me to get into. We spend a large portion of our days staring at phone, TV, and computer screens, and tearing our eyes away at the end of the day isn’t always an easy task. However, this is an absolutely necessary habit to get into for a more restful night’s sleep. Blue light, which most electronic devices use, increases eye strain, which can make it difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Turning off your electronics at least an hour before you head to bed will put your mind and body in a more relaxed state for sleeping.
Set a schedule and stick to it
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day has been challenging these past few months. With everything shut down and my schedule suddenly free as a bird, I had no reason to wake up or go to sleep early. After a few nights of sporadic sleep, however, I realized this unstructured schedule was likely to blame. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day helps your body set and maintain its circadian rhythm. The more faithfully you stick to a schedule, the easier it is for your body to recognize symptoms of tiredness and fatigue. As a result, your body will be able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.