“Last night was rough.” “I just couldn’t fall asleep.” “I kept waking up.”
We’ve all uttered these familiar phrases more than a few times in our lives, but they never seem to make a difference. Well, that’s where Oura comes in. With these sleep tips, you can start cracking the sleep code and put yourself on the path towards a good night’s sleep.
Oura’s Ten Tips For Better, Deeper Sleep
1. Give Your Screens a Break at Least 1 Hour Before Bed
Being under the covers is more comfortable than the couch, and your phone could probably use a charge, so give your phone, tablet, or TV a break and yourself some time to wind down before bed. By tuning out earlier, you can make sure your circadian rhythm isn’t disrupted by your screen’s blue light.
2. Stick to Your (Reasonable) Bedtime, Even on Weekends
Improving sleep starts with consistency, so becoming a creature of habit can go a long way. If you set a reasonable bedtime window and stick to it, even on weekends, it can help you maintain your natural circadian rhythm and be rested and ready when your morning alarm goes off.
3. Find Your Ideal Room Temperature
Warmer? Colder? Somewhere In The Middle? Regardless of your temperature preferences, physiology and science both point to the ideal nighttime room temperature being around 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19.5 degrees Celsius). Your body temperature decreases to initiate sleep, so a cool room can give you a head start.
4. Save Your Large Meals & Heavy Workouts for the Daytime
When you head to your favorite 24-hour late-night food establishment or hit the gym too close to bedtime, your deep sleep takes the hit. An elevated metabolism or heart rate can disrupt your sleep, so it’s best to avoid exercise and heavy meals in the 3 hours prior to your ideal bedtime.
5. Schedule Some Time to Unwind
Of course, this one is easier said than done. However, if you reserve time to unwind–by employing practices like mindful meditation, taking a relaxing bubble bath, or reading a novel–you train your body to enter a relaxed state.
Think about it like you would a muscle: the more you practice engaging your rest-and-digest system while you’re awake, the easier it becomes to generate that same response at night and get some quality sleep.
6. Trade That Late-Night Glass of Wine for Some Extra Sleep
Alcohol may help you feel relaxed before bed, but too much can rob you of highly valuable REM sleep. Once the alcohol’s effects wear off, you may also wake up continuously throughout the night.
7. Move That Late-Night Espresso to Mid-Day
The effects of a late afternoon coffee can last much longer than you think. Caffeine raises your heart rate, making it more difficult to fall asleep. It can also disrupt a key signal in your brain, adenosine, that helps your body regulate your internal clocks. Keep in mind that soda, tea, and even chocolate can contain enough caffeine to disrupt sleep as well.
8. Don’t Exercise Late, Exercise Regularly
Stay active daily. Go for a run or just a casual walk around the block to avoid sitting for long periods. As little as thirty minutes of activity a day can set you up for a good night’s sleep.
9. Reserve Your Bedroom for Rest & Recovery
If you can, creating separation in your home or apartment can really make a difference. Reserving your living room for media consumption and making it home base for all your screens can get you in the habit of sticking to tip #1 in this list. Taking the TV out of the room, leaving your phone charger on the kitchen counter, or making sure your work from home setup isn’t next to your bed can help you create an environment reserved only for sleeping. Your internal clocks respond to these sleep cues and your body will thank you.
10. Naps Are Great for Recovery but Remember to Time Them Out
And finally, taking a nap is a great way to rest and recover, but there are good and bad times to take for them. Try to take your naps before 3pm, as naps too close to your ideal bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep at night.
Sleep is Unique to You
If the idea of a good night’s sleep feels foreign to you, try out any or all of these tips and see how they impact your sleep quality. Stick with a new technique for at least a week to give your body time to adapt to the changes and reveal any effects. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
And, always remember, sleep is different for everyone, and what works for some may not work for you. Try experimenting with a few of these strategies, discover what works, and hold on to what’s best for you, your body, and your sleep.