Seven Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Image by Glynnis McDaris

Seven Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

by Courtney Somer

Nothing beats a good night of sleep, not only in terms of how you feel the next day but also for your restoration, overall health and well-being and effects on aging. Here are 7 ways to get a better night’s sleep.

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This establishes your circadian rhythm, also known as your 24-hour internal clock of your sleep/wake cycle. When you are consistent, your body will know when you’ll need melatonin and serotonin to function. These are the hormones responsible for making you sleepy and alert. If you’re sleeping at different times every day, your body can feel like it’s in a constant, mild state of jet lag.

Turn off all electronics at least one hour before bedtime and limit the number of them in your bedroom. Don’t watch TV in bed. If you charge phones or other devices at night, do so in another room.

Keep the room dark. The helps with melatonin production. Any artificial light can interrupt the process by which you get sleepy, as well as our natural rhythm of sleep. Cover any light, including those on an alarm clock, or use a sleep mask. Additionally, if you get up at night, aim to stay in the dark or keep the lights low if you go to the bathroom. If you are exposed to a bright light, this interrupts production of melatonin for that night.

Have your bed face east to west, so that you are not aligned with the earth’s magnetic field.

Before bed, do some yoga stretches and meditation to help relax the body and work away any leftover stress from the day.

Try to avoid big meals at least 2 hours prior to bedtime. This is much easier on your digestion. In the same respect, you don’t want go to bed so hungry that you wake up in the middle of the night. Dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger. Try drinking a glass of water in lieu of snacking before bedtime.

Turn on your right side when going to sleep, so you breathe through your left nostril. This brings a calming and cooling effect on the body and brain. It also relaxes the heart. If you can’t sleep, lightly block the right nostril with the thumb of your right hand while you breath deeply through your left nostril.

If you are truly unable to sleep and need a quick way to feel rested, try baby pose. According to Yogic texts, being in this pose for 15 minutes is equivalent to many hours of sleep. Begin by sitting on the heels. Bend foreword and place the forehead on the ground, putting slight pressure on the 3rd eye (center of the brow). Arms are at the sides, palms facing up.

Sweet dreams.