20 tips for a better night's sleep

Last updated 05:00 19/11/2013
Sleep
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SWEET SLUMBER: Making changes to your pre-bed routine or even rethinking what you eat for dinner could help you achieve a better night's sleep.

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If a night of restful, quality sleep is ever elusive, your daily habits are in need of a revamp. These 25 tips and tricks will get you on your way to a better night's sleep.

1. Eat sleep-inducing foods

A nighttime snack of Greek yoghurt drizzled with honey may just help you get a better night's rest: both honey and dairy contain compounds that may induce sleep.

2. Stretch before bed

Stretching your limbs relieves aches, but it can also calm you and prep you for sleep. 

3. Wake up at the same time every day

Sleeping in on the weekends can make it that much harder to feel well-rested during the week, so stop the Sunday morning lie-ins and stick to your normal wake-up time. You'll have an easier time getting to sleep and won't feel as groggy the next morning.

4. Put away the electronics

The blue light from tech devices tricks your mind into thinking it's day, so have a cut-off time for watching movies and catching up on email that's at least 20 to 30 minutes before you need to get to sleep.

5. Don't nap

Even if restless sleep makes you want to nap during the day, don't. That nap may be just what's keeping you from catching nightly Zs. Instead, take a walk or get some fresh air to reenergise until it's bedtime.

6. Read a book

Set aside a few minutes each night to meander your way through a favourite book to help power down from a hectic day.

7. Don't drink

Alcohol in your system can lead to a disruptive night of sleep, so if you usually enjoy a glass of wine every night, go without and see if it helps your slumber.

8. Take a warm bath or shower

A warm bath or shower can further soothe your muscles; it's also great if you're suffering from a cold or allergies, since the hot steam can help open up your sinuses to help you breathe better while you sleep.

9. Go dark

Electronics, alarm clocks, street lamps - all of these can prevent deep sleep. Turn off your TV before you drift off to sleep, get blackout curtains to keep outside light away, and cover anything else that's contributing to light pollution in your bedroom.

10. Change your pillow

Your pillow may be hindering, not helping, your sleep, so make sure you're sleeping on the right one for you.

11. Drink herbal tea

Settling down with a mug of non-caffeinated tea can help you relax before bedtime. Up the sleep-inducing power by opting for herbs that have their own relaxing properties, like chamomile, mint, and valerian.

12. Stay active

Exercise isn't the only way to expend energy; being active throughout the day, whether it's running errands or talking on the phone while you take a walk, helps ensure that you're sleepy when your head hits the pillow.

13. Try a natural supplement

Many people swear by the supplements melatonin and valerian for helping you get sleep naturally.

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14. Have an exercise routine

Expend your energy for the day with exercise, and you'll be ready to drift off to sleep as soon as you hit the hay. Make an exercise plan so you stick with your fitness goals and sleep better in the process.

15. Eat an aarlier, lighter dinner

Eating a heavy, greasy, and late dinner can cause discomfort when you're trying to go to sleep, so go with an earlier, or lighter dinner to ensure your digestive system isn't causing you to stay awake.

16. De-stress

Constant worrying keeps you up at night, so learn to take time out to de-stress - both during the day and before bed - to clear your mind.

17. Stop the afternoon coffee break

Caffeine affects people differently, but if you're finding that tossing and turning correlates to your afternoon coffee run, now's the time to switch. If you're looking for ways to reenergise in the afternoon, take a walk, gulp water, or trade your coffee for an herbal tea.

18. Find the right temperature

Did you know that the best temperature for helping you get proper sleep is between 18-22 degrees Celsius?

19. Check out your mattress

If you're tired all the time and are waking up with aches and pains, then your mattress may be the thing that's keeping you from much-needed rest.

20. Make a routine

Taking time to wind down in the night can help you prep your body and mind for a good night's sleep. A pre-bedtime ritual is so important; whatever you choose, make it a routine so you get used to the idea of "winding down."

- PopSugar

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