According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than a third of adults in the United States do not get enough sleep. Our everyday lives are filled with so many distractions and stresses that insomnia or restlessness become the norm. In a world that is filled with tons of information at your fingertips, and constant connection with others, it’s no wonder that so many of us have sleep issues.
There are lots of calculators out there to determine how much sleep you need, but generally adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day. Here are five beneficial habits to help you sleep better.
Establish a Routine
This is the most important thing to do when trying to combat sleeping issues. Go to bed, and wake at the same time every day, including weekends. The weekends may be more of a challenge because many have more of a choice on weekends on when to wake; however, a consistent bedtime routine is key. This really should be the very first thing you do to help improve your sleep.
Create a Calming & Relaxing Environment
Something as simple as the color of your walls may improve your sleeping issues. If possible, try calming colors like blues and neutrals. Also, keep your bedroom at a cooler temperature. The National Sleep Foundation recommends temperatures between 60 to 67 degrees. Try to keep the light out. I personally hate any kind of light, even light at the crack of the door.
It goes without saying that a quiet space is best, but if the room is too quiet, you may not be able to fall asleep quickly. I have started using “white noise” on a sound app that I use. I have found on the nights that I have used it, I sleep more soundly. My problem has always been waking up in the middle of the night, and not being able to fall asleep quickly; my mind is always racing. If I can make myself concentrate on the white noise or my breathing, I find those nights to be much better.
A comfortable mattress, bedding, and pillows are also key to a good night’s sleep. Bedding and pillows are a more economical approach as good mattresses can be rather expensive. Do what you can.
Some type of exercise on a daily basis works wonders for your sleep. Some may say do not exercise close to bedtime, but it really depends on the person. Sometimes I get on my treadmill for a moderate walk in the evening, and I always fall asleep quicker, and sleep better during the night. Check out this article from Sleep.org on the link between exercise and sleep.
This is a tough one, and I struggle with it, but try to power down or silence devices about an hour before you need to fall asleep. Light provokes wakefulness! I am the queen of checking my phone just before bed and watching TV; however, I at least keep these bad habits away from my kids. They do not have TVs in their rooms, and all electronic devices stay in the living areas. At six-years-old, they still sleep like babies.
Cut the Caffeine Early
If you drink coffee, or other caffeinated drinks, stop drinking them by late afternoon. The reasons are obvious.
Getting the right amount of restful sleep is so important to overall health. If you are experiencing sleep problems, the National Sleep Foundation has great information and tips. There is so much more information out there. Make sleep a priority and not a luxury.