How to get a good night’s sleep
We know what you’re thinking: we all know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, and it’s all very well singing the praises of sleep, but I have a job, a family, social obligations, and many other stresses that come with modern life. In other words, getting eight hours a night is far easier said than done.
While this is a valid point, you’ll want to do your best to work the necessary hours of sleep into your routine. Now, while we can’t tell you specifically how to juggle things around in your life to ensure you can free up some more sleep time, what I can do is leave you with some tips that will help you get a better night’s sleep – for whatever number of hours that may be. Here are the eight essentials:
1. Ensure the room is pitch black: That means blinds that shut out all outside light, and no lights of any kind in the room (digital clocks and blinking Blackberries are a no-no, for example).
2. Banish technology: Don’t spend the final moments before you sleep staring at a phone or laptop, and leave those devices outside of the room once lights go out.
3. Decide on a caffeine cut off: If you’re currently having your last cup of coffee at 6pm cut it. In fact, try not to drink coffee past 2pm.
4. Run a bath: A good soak helps to relax both the body and the mind before sleep.
5. Sleep in absolute silence: Ideally, you want to be in an environment where you won’t be awoken by any noise. If needed, use earplugs.
6. Write a to-do list. Often we can’t sleep as we are fretting about things we have to do the following day or the many stresses in our lives. Unload your mind by jotting down tomorrow’s tasks before you get in bed, or writing down a few possible solutions to the bigger challenges you are currently facing in your life.
7. Invest in a quality mattress: Comfort is paramount to good sleep. You’ll never get a good night’s rest if your bed is making you toss and turn.
8. My favorite sleep cocktail: And finally, as my clients know, I have a recommended sleep cocktail to be taken just before you turn the lights out, which includes vitamin D3 (5,000 IU) and magnesium (500 mg). If that does not do it, add 3 mg of melatonin SR and you should sleep like a baby.