Sleep is important for overall health and wellness. The CDC estimates that over 406 million people suffer from sleep trouble including insomnia, bad sleep patterns or interrupted sleep.
There are a lot of health benefits to a good night’s rest: reduced stress, improved mood, maintaining a healthy weight, and better memory (to name a few). It’s clear that many of us are not getting adequate sleep. So, what can we do?
Let’s discuss 5 simple tips to help you get better quality of sleep:
Tip #1: Go to bed on-time and at the same time each night. Some of us know that if you do get to bed on-time, that doesn’t mean that you will get a full 7-8 hours of good quality sleep. Even if you don’t get a full night of restful sleep, it’s important that you try to get in bed at the same time each night, giving you the opportunity to rest for a solid 7-8 hours.
Tip #2: Decrease screen time at least 1 hour before bed. Eliminating screen time and extra light in our bedrooms before sleep helps regulate our melatonin levels, one of the sleep chemicals in our body. If you cannot avoid the screen before bed, there are blue light apps or blue light blocking glasses you can purchase.
Tip #3: Cut caffeine about 4 to 6 hours before you go to bed. If you really need afternoon coffee or tea, switch to a decaf or a non-caffeinated beverage. Giving yourself 4 to 6 hours prior to bedtime will allow the caffeine to get through your system in time for sleep to not interrupt your sleep pattern.
Tip #4: Remind yourself to start winding down before bed. Setting an alarm may help. Doing that last load of laundry or dishes may trigger you to start winding down. Give yourself an hour once that alarm goes off or the laundry is put away to wind down before bedtime and get your body ready for sleep.
Tip #5: Create a bedtime ritual. We are so good about giving our kiddos a bedtime ritual that includes a bath and bedtime story, but we don’t do that ourselves. It’s important to also have a bedtime routine to remind our body it’s time to sleep. We need it just as much as our kiddos.
Your routine should be whatever works for you. Just make sure it’s calming and enjoyable. It might include reading a book for 20 to 30 minutes. You might take a hot shower or bath. You might meditate or stretch. Whatever it is, make sure it’s calming, relaxing, and enjoyable so your body is rested and relaxed before you get into bed and turn the lights off.
Hopefully these 5 tips can help you get a better quality night of sleep, starting tonight!