We all cherish every minute of sleep we can get. Unfortunately, given the tendencies of our action-packed lives, setting up for those glorious eight hours doesn’t come as naturally as we would hope.

Here are some bedtime hacks to make sure you’re prepping your body to end tonight and start tomorrow the right way…

  1. Go to sleep and get up around the same time every day
    • This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep
    • By choosing a bed time when you normally feel tired,  you should be able to wake up naturally without an alarm as long as you’re getting enough sleep. Hint: if you still need an alarm, you may need to be going to sleep earlier
  2. Limit naps
    • 10-30 minutes is fine, but more than that could disrupt your nighttime sleep…try not to nap past the early afternoon
  3. Eat a healthy, light dinner
    • Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion, making it hard to sleep
    • Avoid eating large meals for two to three hours before you plan to go to bed
  4. Eliminate alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine before bed
    • Alcohol might be a nice way to wind down after a long day, but after its initial effects wear off, you’ll be up during the night. It’ll interfere with your sleep cycle once you’re out
    • Nicotine is a stimulant, just like caffeine, and can keep you from falling asleep…this can interfere with a good night’s sleep 10-12 hours after consumption. By noon, try to avoid caffeine in foods and drinks—unfortunately, chocolate contains trace amounts of caffeine, so beware!
  5. Take an evening walk
    • The more you exercise, the better you sleep…taking even a short walk at night can be relaxing
    • Low-impact exercise can help promote sleep and can also help you wind down and clear your head, so you can hit the hay without the day’s stress weighing you down.
  6. Have a cup of decaffeinated tea
    • Herbal teas contain relaxing agents that soothe your nerves and can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply
    • Drinking tea before bed can reduce the risks of cold and flu, too
  7. Stay from your devices an hour before bed
    • The blue light that comes from your computer, TV, and cell phone will keep you awake at night and disturb your natural body clock.
    • If you’re on your phone or computer until the bitter end, you can download f.lux on your computer, which reduces blue light…setting your iPhone to Night Shift will achieve a similar effect.Take a shower or warm bath
    • The hot water soothes the body and relaxes the muscles, preparing you to power down for a good night’s sleep
  8. Pack up and pick out your clothes for tomorrow
    • It might remind you of 2nd grade, but making simple preparations for the next day will decrease stress before bed, thus eliminating things that might be keeping you awake late at night
  9. Keep your room cool
    • Most people sleep best between 61-67 degrees, making 65 degrees optimal, but a room that’s too cold or too hot will interfere with quality sleep

Try these #ProTips out and let us know what you think in the comment section below!

Thanks to the National Sleep Foundation and Helpguide for helping inform the content of this article.