4 Simple Steps to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

No more counting sheep!

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It’s 3 a.m. and you’re counting sheep, trying to fall asleep every night?

This can be extremely frustrating and, if it happens for a long period of time, it can have repercussions on your general health. Besides the toll it takes on your energy during the day, sleepless nights can lead to gaps in productivity, problems at work, and even emotional balance issues.

However, difficulty falling asleep doesn’t necessarily mean you have a serious sleep disorder; it just means you’re daily routine is not as smooth as it used to be. Unhealthy eating habits and long hours at work, in a stressful environment can keep you up at night. Before you know it, you’re in a vicious circle where you’re too tired and stressed to get quality sleep, and you sleep too little to be productive and lively during the day.

If you’re already caught in this hellish situation, don’t despair! There are still some tricks to try to improve the quality of sleep and the overall quality of life. I had a chat with the experts and put together a 4-step program that is easy to follow and can help you sleep better.

#1: Establish your Natural Rhythm

Our bodies follow a certain sleep-awake rhythm called the circadian cycle, but because we tend to fall asleep at later hours than our grandfathers, this rhythm is disturbed. Still, you can re-program your body to follow a new circadian rhythm, by keeping a regular sleep schedule.

This means that you should go to bed at a certain hour in the evening (let’s say eleven o’clock) and wake up at a certain hour in the morning (about 7 o’clock). This rhythm should be repeated every night, even if during the first few nights you don’t fall asleep right away.

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Once you establish the rhythm, you should make sure to keep it. This is important for your quality of sleep, because if you change it by just two hours, you’ll have problems with keeping up energy levels during the day.

No more sleeping in –even if you are the kind of person to be lazy on weekends, don’t continue sleeping past your waking up hour! This will disturb your rhythm and it will be difficult to get it back in place.  If you want to be lazy, you can stay in bed more, but read a book or watch TV.

#2: Organize your Bedroom

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I recently read on trymattress.com about the importance of your mattress when you keep tossing and turning all night long. This tends to happen when the mattress is too hard, or the surface is too soft for your needs. It’s also the case if the mattress gets too hot during the night.

Next let’s talk about electronic devices. Do you like to scroll on Instagram or Facebook until you fall asleep? If so, leave your phone in another room! Actually, you should remove any distractions from your bedroom starting with the TV.

#3: Get Heavy Curtains

Light from the street or the Moon can keep you up at night, and in the morning, the sun rays will wake you ahead of time. So make sure to install heavy, dark curtains that don’t allow any light inside (unless when you want them to).

#4: Be Smart about Your Diet

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What you eat and drink during the day influences the way you sleep at night. So, limit your caffeine and nicotine consumption during the day (especially in the afternoon), and don’t eat heavy meals for dinner. Also, alcohol before bed is never a good idea!

What do you think? Have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments!

Words by Jennifer Dankus