Homesteading is hard work and at the end of the day you may be so tired that you get into bed and just conk out. Lucky you! On the other hand, some nights your head may be filled with so many thoughts and plans or concerns that you toss and turn and barely catch a wink of sleep.
If you’ve had a restless night, or worse, a series of them, it’s difficult to get through what you’ve got to do during the day. Not only are you dragging physically, but your concentration is shot and your nerves are raw. It’s not good for your overall health, either.
So what to do? Check out these tips for a restful night:
Keep To A Schedule
This is advice often given, but that many people find hard to follow. Experts say that keeping regular bedtime and waking hours sets your body on a schedule that can assure more consistent sleep. The temptation, though, is to stay up late on weekend nights and sleep in whenever we can. We’re not automatons, after all. But also be aware that you can’t really make up for lost sleep and your body can’t bank it to hold in reserve for nights in the future.
Have A Good Mattress
Did you ever notice that you sleep better in a hotel room than at home? It could be because of the mattress. When’s the last time you bought a new one? If you can’t remember, you may have the answer to your problem right there.
- Innerspring (coil). This is the traditional kind of mattress and is still the most popular.
- Pillow top. These have an extra layer of soft cushioning on top of an innerspring mattress.
- Memory foam. This kind gradually conforms to your body as you sleep and is recommended particularly for side sleepers.
- Smart gel. This type is made with a heat-dissipating gel along with foam.
- Water bed. Especially recommended for back sleepers, some people love these water-filled mattresses and some find the motion disturbing.
- Adjustable air. You can adjust the firmness of each side of these mattresses, and are great for couples who have different preferences.
Keep Your Bedroom Dark And Comfortable
Thinking back to that hotel room again, there were probably soft clean linens, cushy pillows, black-out drapes, and a gently humming air conditioner that made you feel as if you were on a retreat. That’s the kind of comfort you want for your own bedroom. Dark, cool, and quiet. Whatever you can do to make it so is worth the effort for a rejuvenating night of sleep.
Get Some Sunlight During The Day
Natural sunlight affects your body’s rhythm of waking and sleeping known as the circadian cycle. Studies have shown that two hours of sunlight or other bright light exposure a day can boost sleep efficiency dramatically, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
Watch What You Drink Before Bedtime
Alcohol may make you relaxed and even sleepy, but the effect doesn’t last past a few hours. Having some wine or a cocktail or two to top off the evening may actually contribute to disturbed sleep as the night wears on. And of course coffee and other caffeinated beverages are definitely to be avoided within at least two hours before you head to bed. You might want to watch your overall liquid consumption in general as the hour gets late unless you don’t mind middle of the night trips to the bathroom.
Keep Naps Short
If you’ve had a poor night’s sleep you might be tempted to grab a nap during the day. If you’re lucky enough to be able to do that, make it a relatively short one. Power naps have the benefit of recharging your brain and have general health benefits as well. Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, and a number of US presidents extolled the virtues of the power nap. But aim for no more than 10-30 minutes or you could wake up groggy and have even more trouble going to sleep at night.