Stressful times have a tendency to wreak havoc on our sleep schedules. Fortunately, with a little effort, there are several steps you can take before bedtime to score a more restful night’s sleep. From turning off the tv two hours before bed (to avoid nightmares) to buying better bedsheets, here’s how to sleep more blissfully despite the pandemic.
1. Set a sleep schedule.
If you aren’t getting up—and going to bed—around the same time every day, you’re doing yourself a big disservice. Keeping a regular sleep schedule, with a set wakeup time and bedtime, will help regulate your body’s internal clock so that you can fall asleep faster at night, and wake up more easily in the morning.
2. Go outside during the day.
A little sunlight and exercise during the day can go a long way in helping you sleep better at night. Whether you plan for a daily morning run or an afternoon stroll in the park, studies show that sunlight and exercise naturally boost your brain’s serotonin levels so you’ll feel happier, and less anxious, at night.
3. Invest in quality bed sheets.
Research shows there’s a strong link between how well you sleep and how good you feel, , and the type of bedding you sleep on can make a big difference. Invest in plush, breathable bed sheets composed of quality materials, like Cotton Percale or Sateen Sheets, so you can sleep more soundly at night—and improve your memory, focus, and attitude throughout the day.
4. Turn the TV off at least two hours before bed.
If you like to watch TV right before you go to bed, you might want to reconsider. While you might think that tuning into your favorite late-night show is helping you unwind, studies show that the bright, artificial light that your TV screen emits can trick your internal clock into thinking it’s daytime, so your brain will be more awake; making it harder to fall asleep.
5. Don’t read your phone or tablet in bed.
Similar to television, reading your smartphone or tablet in bed can actually keep you up at night. Not only does blue light emitted by cell phones and tablet screens restrain the production of melatonin (the hormone that controls our sleep/wake cycles), reading the news and browsing the web before bedtime can make your brain more anxious and alert—especially if you stumble upon a scary headline.
6. Find a relaxing sleep routine.
If you aren’t engaging in a relaxing pre-bedtime routine, you’re doing it wrong. Whether it’s an easy deep breathing exercise or ten minutes of yoga, treat yourself to a calming activity every night before bed to help your brain and body unwind from the stressful events of the day.