A recent study asked centenarians what their secret was to a long life, a majority of the subjects said it was their sleep habits that allowed them to live up to and beyond 100 years old. A surprising 70 percent said they slept an average of eight or more hours a night. So, the next time you decide to stay up and watch Conan on a weekday, you may want to consider this: Your beauty sleep is more important to your overall health than you think. If you eat healthy and exercise but skip out on snoozing, you may be spoiling all your hard work. So, how can you get your allotted eight hours of rest at night? Follow these tips for a comfortable sleep.
Follow a schedule
The easiest way to get a good night’s sleep is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Once your body has adjusted to a schedule, you should be able to fall asleep and rise in the morning without a problem. If you want a full eight hours -- be sure to give yourself an extra 30 minutes to get settled, as most people need at least that amount of time to fall into a deep sleep.
Don’t eat at least 3 hours before you hit the sack
For some eating may help you fall asleep because of the drowsy effect you get immediately after chowing down on a delicious meal, but your body should have a chance to digest before you clock out for the evening. If you plan be asleep by 10pm try and dine before 7pm. For more details on food you can eat before bed read: Foods for a Good Night's Sleep.
Don't go to bed angry
If your mind is racing it will be more difficult for you to fall asleep. Try and put to rest all the unresolved issues from your day before you lay your head down at night. Going to bed with a clear mind will help you dream peacefully.
Avoid caffeine after lunch
The purpose of caffeine is to keep you awake and the side effects of a coffee can last hours. So, to make sure that you aren’t still buzzing from your espresso, try and limit your caffeine intake to the morning. Coffee after lunch and dinner could affect you late into the evening hours.
Fit in some exercise
Tire yourself out with a workout. If you’re not feeling tired in the evening it may be because your body didn’t get enough activity throughout the day. A walk or bike ride after dinner will help you ease into bed at night.