Modern living is moving at an ever-increasing rate. In order for us to keep up with this accelerating pace and survive our heavy schedules, we need to sleep better. Lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep makes us grumpy and slow, but that is the least of our concerns. Inadequate sleep hygiene may have serious repercussions on your health, memory, looks, sex life, and body weight. Do not worry, though, because sleep deprivation problem can usually be fixed with a few simple tricks that will help you sleep like a baby and meet every new day with a happy smile on your face and your batteries recharged. Here is what you should do:

Before you go to bed

1. Set up a sleep schedule

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Yes, including weekends and holidays. We know this seems like torture, but it will actually help you reset your internal clock. This way, you will train your body to fall asleep at a certain time in the evening and stay asleep throughout the night. Staying up late on weekends has a similar effect on you like a jet lag, which makes Monday mornings such an unpleasant experience. And just as your body recovers from it, it’s Friday already, and the whole cycle repeats. If you find it hard to stick to a bedtime routine, set the alarm to remind you it is time to go to bed, just like you set one to get up.

2. Deal with your thoughts before bedtime

Have you noticed that, as soon as you lay down, your thoughts tend to start racing? This happens because you did not take time during the day to process them and calm your mind. How can you stop this? Take some time (intentionally) to go through the events of that day and make a list of your obligations for the next day. This should help you clear your mind and shorten the drifting off time.

3. Exercise regularly

Even the slightest physical activity during the day can help you sleep better. However, it is generally a good idea to avoid vigorous exercises too close to bedtime. Leave at least some time for your heart beats to slow down.

4. Take a hot bath

According to some studies, a warm bath before you turn in mimics the way your body prepares for sleep. First, it raises your body temperature a bit, and then, when you get out of the tub, you cool down. This helps you sleep better.

5. Relax

Separate your hectic day from sleep time by powering down at least one hour before bed. Bright lights keep you alert, so dim them to send your body the signal that it is time to wind down. Regularly practicing a relaxing activity right before bedtime is also a helpful tactic that slows down your heart rate. You can meditate or say your prayers, whichever you prefer. Remember to take deep breaths during your quiet time.

6. Share a goodnight kiss

Surveys show that 70 percent of people sleep better if they give a goodnight kiss to their loved ones. If you live alone, or your family is away, give them a call to wish them goodnight. It has a similar effect.

7. Buy a new mattress

If you are doing everything right, but you still feel beaten up in the morning, seriously consider changing your mattress. A comfortable mattress is the foundation of good-quality sleep. Do not let all those talks about coils, foams, and toppers frighten you. Choosing the right mattress for yourself is simple – the one that is comfortable and lures you to sink into a deep sleep is the one you should buy. To narrow the selection down, read reviews of mattresses online.

After you wake up

1. Do not hit that ‘Snooze’ button

Is there anything worse in this world than the sound of your alarm clock in the morning? You probably agree there isn’t. So, why would you want to go through that misery over and over again? If you delay waking up, you are not getting more sleep. Your mind is aware that it does not have much time left in the bed, so it is already in the state of alertness. You will only feel groggier and unmotivated.

2. Let the sunshine in

Bright light is a signal to your brain that is needs to wake up. Plus, sunlight triggers the release of serotonin and dopamine, the feeling-happy neurotransmitters, and makes you fall in love with your mornings.

3. Turn up the volume

Just like the sunlight, music also stimulates your brain in a happy way. Have a motivating playlist ready and let it roll as soon as you open your eyes. Even better, set your favourite upbeat song as your alarm tone. It will make waking up as painless and as pleasant as possible.

4. Start your day with a glass of water

Forget about coffee. A big glass of water (with a few drops of lemon juice) first thing in the morning kick starts your metabolism and gives you an energy boost that will get you through the first half of the day.

Things to avoid

1. Too much sleep

Believe it or not, you can overdo it on sleep. People who consistently clock out more than the desired eight hours of sleep might be at the risk of developing certain health issues. Or they might already be experiencing them unknowingly. If you are always tired and your body craves for naps, it might be a symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome or even depression.

2. Lying in the bed awake

You woke up in the middle of the night and cannot get yourself to fall asleep again. What do you do? Do whatever you feel like doing, just leave the bed. Staring at the ceiling and counting sheep will only increase your anxiety and make your brain associate the lying in bed with the state of being awake. So, roll out of your bed and come back when you feel like you are ready to hit the hay again.

3. Alcohol

The fact is that alcohol helps us pass out. But the consequences we have to face in the morning are far worse than staying awake a bit longer in the night. Alcohol makes you dehydrated, causes headaches, and slows down your speech, movements, and cognitive potential. It is really not worth it.

4. Watching TV to fall asleep

Watching TV at night does not help you relax. There is too much distraction and action going on. The light that your TV emits does not help either. It tricks your brain into thinking that it is time to wake up and get busy. Instead, try replacing your TV time with a good book.

So, what’s your sleep routine? Do you have any other super hacks for awesome mornings?

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Author: Derek Lotts

Derek is a hopeless romantic and awkward situation enthusiast. He strives to find a perfect home. In his pursuit, he has gained the knowledge he is eager to share.You can find him blogging regularly at Smooth Decorator.

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