We all strive for a full night’s rest but sometimes it just isn’t feasible (late-night work calls and early-morning workout classes, we’re looking at you). So when you do get the opportunity for some shut-eye, whether that be a nap or settling in for the night, it’s important you make the most of it. Here, our tips for getting the best sleep possible so you can wake up energized and ready to take on the day.
Get Some Shut-Eye
Timing Is Everything
If you didn't get enough sleep the night before, napping late in the day can disturb your sleep pattern and keep you up when it's actually time to catch some Zs. The ideal midday snooze is between the hours of 1pm and 3pm, which won't disrupt your natural circadian rhythm. We know we're not the only ones that feel sleepy after lunch.
It's so important to stick to a schedule so you are going to bed and waking up around the same time every day. The golden hours for a good night's rest are between midnight to 4am.
Get In Position
Falling asleep while watching TV on the couch or working in bed doesn't set you up for a good night's sleep. Be firm with yourself.
When napping, you don't have to go so far as to tuck yourself in, but the perfect sleep position can help you get in and out faster. Lay down on a couch or recline your seat. Make yourself comfortable and get to snoozing.
Set Your Alarm
Napping too long can drag you down, so set your alarm to avoid oversleeping. Five to 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time and has been shown to increase alertness, stamina and motor performance.
When it comes to nighttime, for ages 18 to 60, seven hours is recommended. Set your morning alarm for the same time every day, even on the weekends, and avoid hitting snooze.
Drown Out The Noise
Chances are your bedroom isn't completely silent, no matter what time of the day or night it is. This can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep long enough to wake up energized. A noisemaker or fan will help drown out the noise.
Mid-afternoon is probably the hardest time to nap—horns are honking, people are talking, dogs are barking. Slide on a pair of headphones and listen to some white noise (or do a quick YouTube search to find some) to temper all other sounds.
Shut Out The Light (All Of It)
Turn off the lights, close the blinds or slip on an eye mask the next time you take a cat nap. The less light you see, the deeper sleep you'll have and the more energized you'll wake up.
For the best night's rest, make your bedroom a complete sleep haven. Minimize electronics that emit light, invest in dark curtains and turn on a lamp instead of overhead lighting for at least an hour before you hit the pillow. The darker your room is leading up to your bedtime, the more ready you will be to fall asleep fast and stay asleep longer.
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