It’s fun to imagine that Nietzche was referring to personal experience; perhaps he’d taken a nap that was much longer than intended and ended up staying awake all night. Sound familiar? It’s easy to let outside influences get in the way of a good night’s sleep, so we’ve compiled a list of ten quick tips to get the sleep you deserve.
Stick to a schedule and create a ritual
According to the Mayo Clinic, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day “reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night.” When you’ve created a bedtime ritual, your body will recognize the signs that it’s time to settle in for the night.
Watch what you eat and drink
If you’re too full or too hungry, you won’t feel comfortable enough to sleep. Also, if you’ve had too much caffeine or nicotine throughout the day, your body might take longer to come down from the increased stimulation.
There’s no chance you’ll get a decent night’s sleep if the TV is blaring, the faucet is dripping, or the dog is whining to come into bed with you (one more thing to avoid, by the way). Create a comfortable sleep environment with your ideal temperatures, lighting, and bedding.
Limit naps throughout the day
If you must nap, try to keep it between 10 and 30 minutes, and make it midafternoon. Any longer and it can interfere with your night-time sleeping patterns.
Get enough physical exercise
According to Sleep.Org, people who have a regular habit of exercising will “sleep better—and longer—than those who don’t.”
This one is tough, considering the demands of working adults in today’s society. Keep a notebook by your bed and make a to-do list as things pop into your head. When you wake up in the morning, you won’t be worried about things you may have forgotten.
Use lighting to your advantage
Manage circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock) using dim lighting to tell your body when it’s time to sleep and bright lighting when it’s time to wake up. It’s tough to flip the switch in the morning, especially when the temperatures are dropping and bed can be so cozy, but it’s a great way to wake yourself up.
Take an hour before bedtime to do a relaxing activity such as reading a book, taking a bath, or listening to calming music. Avoid looking at a TV, your computer, phone or tablet, as the light from the devices can, according to the National Sleep Foundation, “miscue the brain and promote wakefulness.”
Lying awake in bed?
Do something relaxing in a different room until you feel tired. Get out of your sleep environment as to not associate certain activities (work, planning for the week ahead, etc.) with sleep.
Stop looking at the clock
Instead, turn it away from you so if you accidentally glance in its direction, you’re not stressing about how late it is, and how many hours of sleep you’re getting (or missing out on).
These are just a few things you can do to improve your sleep; try a few and stick with the ones that work for you!