According to the CDC, between 40 and 70 million Americans struggle with a sleep or wakefulness disorder. In addition, Medical Daily states that nearly one third of American workers get less than the recommend amount of sleep. Whether you don’t have the time or don’t have the capacity to sleep restfully, the following are some healthy habits you can start forming now to get your best night’s sleep yet.
- Set a Bedtime
It may seem juvenile to have a bedtime set for yourself. However, it can be immensely beneficial. The best time to head to bed is when you begin to feel tired. If you force yourself to stay awake past that time, or try to go to bed earlier than that time, you are likely going to toss and turn – restless. If you have a set bedtime and would like to change it, it is best to do so slowly by going to bed or 15 minutes earlier or later each day.
- Pay Attention to Your Diet
It is important to make sure that you do not go to bed either stuffed or hungry – you should be comfortable. Also, limiting liquid intake before bed can help you avoid trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Next, make sure to avoid nicotine, alcohol and caffeine before bed. Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants that can keep you up at night or provide you with a poor quality of sleep. Alcohol has been known to disrupt sleep as well.
- Stick to a Routine
If you make a habit of doing the same things every night before bed, your brain will tell your body that it is time to settle down. So, whether you decide to read a book, take a shower, listen to music, or write in a journal, find a way to let your body know that bedtime is near.
- Be Active
Being physically active during the day can promote better, more restful sleep. It can also help you fall asleep faster. However, you must be careful about when you are exercising. When you exercise, endorphins and other chemicals and hormones are released in your body. These are intended to give you the energy to continue being active. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you may have trouble settling down due to this release of chemicals and boosted energy. Keep that in mind.
Nowadays, with all of the television, computer and phone screens in front of us, it can be hard to settle down and have a restful sleep. I hope these tips help!