Nothing's better than a good night's sleep, but are you doing all you can to make sure you wake up well-rested every morning? Here are five simple things you can do to make every night as restful as possible.
Your cell phone is almost definitely your alarm clock, but keeping your phone next to your bed is doing you more harm than good. Exposure to artificial light before you sleep can mess up your circadian rhythms and deprive you of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, so it's worth foregoing the middle of the night scroll through your Instagram feed for the sake of a good night's sleep. Instead, try charging your phone overnight somewhere out of reach, so you're not distracted if it lights up with an alert in the middle of the night. Also, invest in a real alarm clock-- it's the best way to ensure you get a good 8 hours every night.
Before you go to bed each night, get in a little light reading-- and this doesn't mean you should be reading Facebook status updates. Instead, pick up a book or a magazine (again, paper, not digital) to both calm your mind and let your eyes relax after hours of staring at a screen.
3. Cut back on the caffeine and alcohol
Studies show that consuming alcohol too close to bed time greatly disrupts sleep patterns, so even if you are heading out for a few drinks, try to finish yourlast alcoholic beverage a few hours before bedtime. While a drink may help you fall asleep, it's proven that drinking before bed leads to restless nights. The same, of course, goes for caffeine. While drinking coffee early in the day is okay, you may want to think before grabbing an afternoon pick-me-up. Caffeine can linger in the body for hours, preventing you from getting a proper night's sleep.
4. Get blackout curtains
Blackout curtains are not imperative in all parts of the world, but when living in the region, they're a bedroom staple. Not only does a good set of blackout shades prevent the sun from waking you up when all you want to do is sleep in, but they also help keep your room cool during the hotter months. There are a number of benefits to sleeping in a cool place, including falling asleep faster, looking more youthful, and decreasing your risk for certain metabolic diseases.
5. Get a good mattress
A good mattress may seem like a no-brainer, but apart from the comfort factor, you mattress can affect both your sleep and your health in more ways then you imagine. Physical ailments such as back or neck pain may be alleviated by a firmer mattress, while those prone to allergies may want to check labels before purchasing, to ensure they're getting the most hypoallergenic product available.