Getting a good night's sleep is perhaps the most underrated contributor to overall health and well-being.
If you struggle with dozing off or getting quality shut-eye, follow this simple recipe for more restful sleep.
1. Proper hydration
Drinking enough water throughout the day impacts how well we sleep.
When we're hydrated our body temperature is better regulated, and we produce more natural melatonin (helping to fall asleep and stay asleep).
Make sure not to drink too much before bedtime to avoid frequent bathroom visits.
2. Proper digestion
Try to time your last meal and stop eating 2 hours before bed.
Eating or snacking right before bedtime raises our metabolic rate, which means our bodies are busy digesting instead of being in repair mode.
Coffee, sugar and other stimulating foods need to be limited as well to give our central nervous system a chance to unwind.
3. Minimal screen time
Netflix in bed is one of the most relaxing forms of entertainment, but the blue light emitted from our screens disrupts our natural sleep-wake cycle.
Try and create a bedtime routine that involves unplugging from the digital matrix.
Go into analog-mode for at least 30 minutes before bedtime - read a book, do some housework, plan for tomorrow, go for a walk or please your partner.
4. Honest with intentions
Before bedtime, take a few moments to reflect on the day.
Try to air out any anxieties or grievances that may have developed. Acknowledge that they exist, accept them and consciously let them go.
Conversely, comb through the events of the day and remember everything great that happened.
Analysing the day like this will help promote a peaceful mindset and sense of calm.
5. Optimism for tomorrow
Have a positive outlook for tomorrow and look forward to what can be improved upon, or what opportunities may present themselves.
Adding some positivity and gratitude to the sleep recipe will help contribute substantially to a more restful night.
Being in a good mood right before bed regulates hormones linked to stress and relaxation, helping to improve sleep quality.
This is clearly not an exhaustive list of factors that will help improve how to sleep.
But they are all practices that I try to implement as frequently as possible to help me sleep like a baby.