Get a good night’s sleep

I don’t have to explain to you why sleep is important. Our bodies were designed with an innate need for daily, deep rest and relaxation. It refreshes and rejuvenates us for the day ahead. However, many people suffer through night after night of disruptive sleep. If that’s you, here are a few tips to help you get your zzz’s.

Wind Down With the Sun
Tap into your natural circadian rhythms with the rising and setting of the sun. When the sun goes down, let that be your cue to begin to wind down as well. Of course, you don’t have to hit the sack immediately, but begin to quiet your body. Wind down with some light reading or relaxing on your porch. Keep high-energy and mentally complex activities for the daylight hours.

Make Your Bedroom the Room for Rest
The bedroom isn’t your entertainment room, office or study. Or at least it shouldn’t be. When you have it outfitted with televisions and laptops, it’s easy to get distracted from sleep. Remove any unnecessary items from your bedroom and make it a place mainly for relaxation.

Let Pets Sleep in Their Own Bed
I will catch some flak for this, but there’s scientific research to back it up. If you have trouble sleeping and you share your bed with a pet, there’s a good chance Fluffy is the cause. From night roaming, scratching to acting out their own dreams, pets are moving around and waking you up far more often than you realize. According to WebMD, dogs can be trained to sleep in their own beds, and cats… well, it’s best to leave them outside the bedroom.

Don’t Eat Too Much So Close to Bedtime
When it’s time to sleep, your body prefers to do just that and not much else. When you eat too much right before bed, your body is working hard to digest all that food and it can’t concentrate on preparing itself for sleep. So, do your body a favor and create a gap between dinner time and bedtime; experts suggest about three hours.

Pray, Meditate and Clear Your Mind
Worry and stress are sleep robbers too. It’s hard to relax when your mind is racing. Make some space at night for your own personal quiet time. Meditate and pray. Read something that will encourage you to let go of your problems. When you stop worrying, you will sleep better.

Jennifer E. Jones is the Beliefnet Inspiration Editor who needs a good eight hours of sleep to keep her sunny disposition.

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