Getting quality sleep is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. Not only does it lower the risk of stroke and heart diseases, but it also reduces stress and keeps our heart and blood vessels healthy. Many people still struggle to reap these benefits, however. In fact, studies have shown that approximately 50 to 70 million American adults have trouble sleeping. Common reasons why people do not get enough sleep include stress, sleep disorders, work stress, and excessive caffeine or alcohol drinking.
Unhealthy lifestyle choices and daytime habits can leave you tossing and turning at night and negatively influence your mood, quality of life, and overall health. Continue on to learn how to make it easier to get a good night’s sleep tonight.
Create A Sleep Schedule and Stick to It
Inconsistent sleep patterns can leave you feeling off kilter, so a regular sleep schedule is necessary to get your clock back on track. Set a time to go to bed and a wake-up time that you adhere to every day. Sleep schedules are essential in helping to regulate our body clock which could make it easier to fall asleep at night. If you are still awake after 20 minutes, it is recommended to do something relaxing, such as reading a book, doing light exercises, or following a light meditation session to help reprogram your body.
Avoid Alcohol, Heavy Meals, and Caffeinated Drinks
Avoid alcohol and caffeine for at least four hours before going to sleep. This is primarily because the effects of the mentioned drinks can take as long as 12 hours to wear off. In addition to that, it is also advisable to steer clear of heavy meals a few hours from bedtime. The body takes a lot of time to digest food, which could potentially create discomfort. If you do end up hungry, opt for a glass of milk and a light snack.
Control Exposure to Light
Expose yourself to bright sunlight and spend more time outside in the morning by exercising, walking your dog, and taking your work breaks outside. It is best to let as much natural light into your workspace or home as possible. During the night, avoid too much exposure to blue light two hours before your bedtime. Also, stay away from late-night television and instead listen to audiobooks or music.
Limit Long Daytime Naps
Power naps can be advantageous but sleeping in the daytime can create a complication in your internal clock. Studies have shown that longer naps can have negative effects on the quality of sleep. In most cases, it is ideal to take naps no longer than 30 minutes.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation before bed to calm your nerves and prepare for sleep. It is also a good idea to create a restful environment by keeping the room cool, your bed comfortable, and the noise down.
Staying up too late? Not getting enough sleep? Try the tips above to sleep better and be more active and vigorous during the day.
Post written by: Elise Morgan