“I had a rough night.” “I just couldn’t get to bed.” “I kept waking up.”
As humans, we’ve uttered these phrases countless times, but we still can’t seem to crack the sleep code. Well, Oura is here to help. Check out these tips and get started on the path towards a good night’s sleep.
1. Stop Looking at Screens at Least One Hour Before Bed
You have a busy life, and phones, tablets, computers, and TVs were designed to constantly grab your attention. Learn to set them aside before bedtime and you’ll be more rested in the morning. By tuning out earlier, you can make sure your circadian rhythm isn’t disrupted by the blue light emitted from screens.
2. Stick to Your Bedtime, Even on Weekends
Improving sleep requires consistency, so start becoming a creature of habit. Set a bedtime window and stick to it, even on weekends. This will help you respect your natural circadian rhythm and make sure you’re ready to wake up when the alarm goes off.
3. Find Your Ideal Temperature
Some like it hot. Some like it cold. Regardless, physiology and science both agree that the right temperature for sleep is around 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19.5 degrees Celsius). Your body temperature decreases to initiate sleep, so a cool room gives it a head start.
4. Avoid Large Meals and Exercise Before Falling Asleep
Big meals or intense exercise close to bedtime can decrease the amount of deep sleep you get. If an elevated metabolism or heart rate disrupts your sleep, it’s best to avoid exercise and heavy meals in the 3 hours prior to bedtime.
5. Take Time to Unwind
Easier said than done. However, as you unwind and reduce your stress–with the help of practices like mindfulness, yin yoga, a relaxing bubble bath, reading a novel, or a massage–you train your body to enter a relaxed state.
It’s like building 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 to promote sleep.
6. Limit Alcohol, Especially Before Bed
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 continuously wake up throughout the remainder of the night.
7. Cut Caffeine After 2 p.m.
The effects of a late afternoon cup of coffee can last much longer than you think. Caffeine raises your heart rate, making it difficult to fall asleep. It also disrupts 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.
8. Exercise Regularly
Stay active. Go for a run, walk around the block, and avoid sitting for long periods. Thirty minutes of daily activity can set you up for a good night’s sleep.
9. Reserve Your Bedroom for Rest and Romance
Your sleep will improve if you refrain from watching TV, talking on the phone, or working in your room. Creating an environment reserved for sleeping helps inform your body that it’s time for sleep. Your internal clocks respond to sleep cues.
10. Time Your Naps
Napping is a great form of rest and works wonders for your overall recovery. That being said, there are good and bad times to take a nap. Try to take naps before 3 p.m., as naps too close to bedtime may make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
Sleep is Unique to You
If you’ve been resorting to counting sheep, try these tips and see how they impact your nights. Stick with a new technique for at least a week to give your body time to adapt to the changes and reveal any effects.
Remember, sleep is different for everyone, and what works for some may not work for you. Try experimenting with a few of these strategies and compare results.
Discover what works for you.