Most of us know we should plan rest days into our workout routine, but how often do we take the time to get the rest we need each night? It’s easy to fall into the trap of squeezing as much as you can into every 24-hour period, but that mentality tends to catch up on you after a while. Once your body and your sleep cycles are off, it can become hard to fall asleep even when you try. The good news is that you can get back into a better routine with this guide on how to have a restful sleep. If you’re having trouble achieving a restful sleep, give some of these ideas a try:
Cut back on caffeine. I know it can seem impossible to make it through the mid-day slump without a cup or three of coffee. But if you’re having difficulty falling asleep at night, that afternoon boost may not be worth it. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, try swapping that cup of joe with a protein-rich snack.
Limit screen time. Electronics and artificial light can screw up your body’s natural rhythm. It’s important to give your eyes a rest and help your body prepare for sleep. You can do this by dimming the lights and avoiding electronics in the hour leading up to bedtime. If you still need a way to unwind, try reading a good old-fashioned book.
Exercise daily. If you’ve ever noticed how much better you sleep after a busy day or tough workout, you aren’t alone. Being active throughout the day can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Even on your rest days, try going for a stroll around the neighborhood.
Try to relax. If you find yourself restless before bed, try creating a relaxing bedtime routine to help both your body and mind settle down. Yoga, stretching, calming music, and a warm bath are a few great ideas. Life can be stressful, but getting into the right mental state before you hit the sack can make all the difference in the quality of your sleep.