It’s National Sleep Awareness Week, which seems fitting the day after Daylight Savings Time had us “spring forward” an hour. Many of us are already a bit tired on regular Mondays!
A good night’s sleep can sometimes feel impossible to achieve – between the long hours many Americans work and the prevalence of both easily available distractions and sleep disorders, it’s a wonder we ever make it to dreamland at all. So what can you do to get better sleep? Here are 5 tips:
- Keep to a schedule – our bodies like routine, even if our brains sometimes find it boring or frustrating. Train yourself to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, and on your days off, try not to adjust your sleep schedule by more than an hour. This will make those difficulty Monday mornings just a smidge easier!
- Aim for 7 hours, minimum – a healthy adult needs between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Set your sleep schedule so that you’ll get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
- Make your bed comfortable – this one might seem like a no-brainer, but many people haven’t upgraded their mattress or bedding in decades! If your mattress is more than a decade old, consider getting a new mattress, especially if it’s an inner spring style. Definitely get a new mattress if you’ve noticed that your regular sleeping spot has caused sagging in the springs. If you can’t afford to replace your mattress, consider getting a thick foam mattress topper instead. Shop around for a pillow that meets your needs, and bedding that makes you sigh in sweet surrender at the end of the day.
- Ditch the bedtime TV – use your bed only for sleep and sex, so that your body knows what to expect when you get into bed. Additionally, the light from the TV can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep. Many people miss the amount of time passing when they watch TV, making it more likely for you to binge-watch right past your regular bedtime.
- Don’t eat meals before bedtime – a long work day can sometimes leave you scarfing leftover spaghetti in your kitchen at 9 in the evening, but its better to avoid big meals for at least an hour before bedtime. Having a full stomach can make you uncomfortable, so that you have difficulty falling asleep. It can also contribute to heartburn, nausea and weight gain.
These are just a handful of useful tips you can try to get a better night’s sleep, visit http://sleepeducation.org/ for more tips, and informational articles on a variety of sleep issues and disorders. Have a great sleep!