Have you been feeling sluggish, worn out, or even moody lately? If you answered yes, you may not be getting enough (or restful enough) sleep — and it’s no wonder. Think of all the factors that can keep you up at night: family responsibilities, financial problems, work challenges … the list can go on and on. Long-term lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems if not treated — problems like weight gain, depression, and even increased odds of diabetes.
But there’s good news: you can take steps to develop better sleeping habits.
Sleep tips to get you snoozing soundly:
- Pay attention to your food and drink in the evening. Did you know that foods and drinks like caffeine and alcohol can have a stimulating effect and leave you tossing and turning for hours? If you are a late-night snacker, be aware of the foods that may be impacting your sleep.
- Set a sleep schedule. Aim to hit the sack and rise and shine at the same time each day. This will help regulate your body’s internal clock. This should help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
- Avoid napping. Sometimes a nap feels great after a sleepless night, but it could be sabotaging your sleep schedule. The end result can lead to another sleepless night. Best bet is to avoid napping and head to bed earlier.
- Start a bedtime ritual. Your body needs time to wind down before going to sleep. Try reading or meditating before drifting off — relax into sleep.
- Turn off electronics. For some people, electronic devices may make it hard to fall sleep because they trigger activity in the brain. If you watch a lot of TV or have other types of screen-time around bedtime, try eliminating it. See if you start to snooze a little more quickly and soundly.
- Exercise. One exercise’s many benefits: it can help regulate your sleeping patterns. For some people, exercising before bed helps them fall asleep — for others, it keeps them awake. Try various times of the day and see what works best for you.
- Set the mood. Evaluate your space to make sure it’s sleep-ready. Check the temperature, activate noise control, and try to shut out light that may keep you from dozing off. Try dark curtains, eye masks, and even ear plugs to help you drift off to rest.
- Manage stress. Stress can impact your quality of sleep if you are constantly thinking about all that you have to do. Try keeping a journal, deep breathing, or event meditation before bed.
Quality of sleep is important for overall health. If you find that you are experiencing chronic sleep problems, consider talking to your doctor.
How do you manage your sleep? Share your tips in the comments!