Improve Your Sleep
good night’s rest can be difficult. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-quarter of the U.S.
population reports occasionally not getting enough sleep.
rest you need sometimes requires some lifestyle changes. It's about developing
habits that promote good health and eliminating any bad habits that could be
keeping you up at night. Here are a few ways to improve your sleep hygiene and
prepare the perfect environment to catch some Zs.
Establish a Routine
sleep schedule is a critical part of developing good sleep hygiene. According
to Mayo Clinic, frequently changing your bedtime
and wake-up time confuses the body's biological clock.
To stick to
a schedule, prepare your mind and body for sleep by developing a relaxing
bedtime routine that begins around the same time each evening. Take a warm
bath, listen to soft music, read a book, or do some other activity that helps
you wind down. This will signal to the body that bedtime is soon and allow you
to fall asleep quickly and easily.
Respect the Bed
separate your bedroom from other facets of your life that may cause stress or
tension. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the presence of electronic devices
like laptops and cell phones in your sleep environment can make it hard to fall
asleep. If you tend to associate your bed with activities other than sleep or
sex, this may distract you from falling asleep.
television, working, using your computer, eating, or even having a heated
argument with your significant other in or around the bed. Strengthening the
association between your bed and sleep will help you clear your mind come
Set the Scene
yourself in a perfect slumber. What does the room look like? How does that
compare to your current bedroom? According to Mayo Clinic, improving your sleep means making
changes to your environment to achieve that perfect slumber.
examine your bed. Is it large enough? Do you wake up with a sore neck? Do you
constantly bump knees with your spouse? A new bed, pillow, or comforter could
make a huge difference. Next, think about your bedroom at night. Light, sound,
and temperature are the most common causes of sleep disruption. Try finding
ways to moderate those factors and create a consistently quiet, dark, and cool
environment. If you can't ignore noise, invest in earplugs, a fan, or a sound
machine. Use window shades or blinds to block light from outside and make sure
any indoor lights are off. Lastly, keep the temperature of the room
consistently comfortable and cool.
Mind What You Drink
drink in the hours before bedtime can make or break your ability to fall
asleep. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard
Medical School, the
effects of caffeine can take six to eight hours to wear off. Make sure to avoid
drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee or soda in the late afternoon or
have the qualities of a sedative but it can actually disrupt deep and REM sleep.
This results in lighter and less restorative stages of sleep. Consuming too
much of any liquid right before bed may result in frequent sleep disruption in
order to use the bathroom. Try drinking something with a calming effect like
hot tea or milk, and limit your intake.
Get Up and Try Again
The Mayo Clinic suggests that if you are still lying
awake after 15 minutes of struggling to fall asleep, get out of bed and do
something else. Go through your bedtime relaxation ritual again. Take a bath,
read, or listen to music. Then go back to bed when the anxiety of not being
able to fall asleep is gone.
tempting, do not turn on the television, or get on the computer to check your
email. Try not to expose yourself to extreme light, temperature, or sound.
These activities will only make it more difficult for your body to get back
into sleep mode.