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Have you begun to dread bedtime? Maybe you know what’s coming: the sleepless nights, the restless tossing and turning in your bed. It’s exhausting, and you’re beginning to wonder how you make it through the days with both eyes open. There are several ways to prepare yourself for a good night’s rest. Focus on your bedroom environment and your body as you try these tips for a better sleep.

  • 1) Prioritize comfort. Comfort is essential to deep and cleansing sleep. If you’re not comfortable, sleep may be shallow, or it may not come at all. First, focus on the bedding. Make sure your sheets are clean and season-appropriate. For example, don’t use flannel in the warm summer months, and make sure you have a heavy blanket or comforter in the cold winter months. Regulating your home’s temperature can also help relieve extreme weather and keep you comfortable. Finally, ensure your environment is dark and quiet. Close the door to your bedroom if needed, or wear a sleep mask to block any ambient light coming through your window.
  • 2) Keep a regular schedule. Whether you realize it or not, your body tries to regulate and maintain a daily schedule. This is known as your “circadian rhythm.” These natural schedules can be changed and adjusted slightly, but maintaining a strict bedtime will work wonders for your body. A regular bedtime signals consistency, allowing your body time to wind down automatically before your head even hits the pillow.
  • 3) Relax and unplug. Allow yourself a set period before bedtime to relax and enjoy some time to yourself. Read a book, listen to music, meditate, stretch, or try any number of other peaceful activities. Do your best to refrain from viewing screens before bed. This includes television, phones, tablets, and any other mobile devices. These devices emit blue light, which tampers with your body’s natural ability to fall asleep.
  • 4) Exercise. Exercise right before bed can actually be detrimental to your sleep, causing you to be more awake and more alert than you might be otherwise. But exercise during the day can tire out your body, making it easier to fall asleep later. Go for a run, do some yoga, or lift weights. A good balance of cardio and muscle-building activities will ensure a deep sleep while also keeping you fit and healthy.

5) Eat early. The closer to bedtime that you eat or drink, the more likely you are to have acid reflux or need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. These can cause discomfort and interrupt your natural sleep patterns. Set a cutoff time a certain number of hours before bed. After this set time, you can no longer eat or drink (except maybe water). This means NO midnight snacking. But don’t worry, it will be worth it for a good night’s sleep!

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