How to Get Better Sleep

 

 Sleep is such a hot commodity in our house right now. We are always striving for more sleep, or a better night’s sleep. I imagine that lots of you are in the same boat. After years of bad sleeps my boyfriend finally went to find out what the troubles were. He stayed the night in the hospital hooked up to all kinds of wires and machines. The diagnosis was restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder. There are really no cures for either of these problems, but the doctor recommended some lifestyle changes that would allow both of us to try and sleep through his restlessness.

 

Here’s how we get a better night’s sleep:

  • Start winding down an hour before bedtime

We actually set an alarm so that an hour before bedtime we are reminded to turn off the television and the computer and step away from our phones.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night
  • Have a hot shower or bath before bedtime

This is one of the things that we try to do in that hour of wind-down time.

  • Limit evening exercise

Because of our work schedules we do often exercise in the early evening. We always do it before dinner. We are also training for a 75 km bike ride and we put our long rides on Saturdays so that we can get that done with early in the day. That leaves the rest of the day for our bodies to come down from our exercise high.

  • Limit caffeine, especially in the afternoon

I’m completely off of caffeine beverages and my boyfriend only drinks regular coffee or tea in the morning.

  • Limit alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid eating meals that are too rich, or snacks with too much sugar in the afternoon and evening
  • Add relaxation exercises like yoga or meditation

Getting into a new sleep routine, and adding or subtracting behaviors has made a huge difference in how rested we feel.

Do you wish you felt more well rested?
What are your tips to getting a good sleep?
Do you have a nighttime routine?

 

This is a guest post from Morgan who blogs about health, food, and fitness at Life After Bagels.

Morgan is one of the Toronto, ON Fitfluential Ambassadors and loves to write about recipes and meal planning. She’s recently signed up for the Heart and Stroke Foundation Ride For Heart. Find her on Twitter @LifeAfterBagels.

Comments

  1. says

    GREAT POST!
    I was a horrible sleeper until we had our daughter.
    The more I was compelled to get a solid sleep routine for her—the more I realized we can all benefit from precisely that!
    it changed my life.

  2. says

    Sleep is so important for the mind and body! I have to admit, I’m not the best about winding down, not eating before bed, and avoiding caffeine. I try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day though, and it’s so important for me to get enough sleep!

  3. says

    Thanks for some great reminders. I’ve been having some sleep issues myself lately; combination of too much to do, excess caffeine and sugar and my new friend, ‘peri-M’.
    So far, I’ve only had 1 cup of coffee today…

  4. says

    I’ve had huge issues with insomnia the last couple of months due to stress. What I’ve found that works for me is avoiding alcohol at night. Even though alcohol makes me sleepy, it always tends to wake me up in the middle of the night. Instead, because I have opposite reactions to things, having caffeine actually helps. (So weird, I know.) I also take some melatonin about 30 minutes before turning in and keep my room nice and cool.

  5. says

    I’m also one of those people who struggle with getting enough sleep. Recently I’ve started to drink a relaxing herbal tea blend before going to bed. I don’t know if the herbs really work or if it’s more the ritual itself, but I feel more relaxed.
    Great tips!

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