7 Habits to Improve Your Sleep
Of course you know you should be logging seven to eight hours of sleep each night, but how often does that actually happen? If you’re like most American adults, the answer is ‘not nearly enough’. In fact, a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2016 found that 33% of Americans report getting less than seven hours of rest each night. Think you’re surviving and thriving on a measly five hours and double shot of espresso?
Step away from the coffee and learn how to improve your sleep quality!
Improving your sleep can lead to countless health benefits:
- Improved mood
- Increased creativity & memory
- Less stress
- Weight loss
- More energy
- Decreased irritability
Starting to see how better sleep could be the cure to a few of your daily struggles? Learn how to improve your sleep in a few easy steps.
Use these 7 tips to improve your sleep habits:
1. Stick to a schedule. Maintaining a consistent wake-up and bedtime can improve your sleep. Aim to wake up and go to bed within an hour of the same time each day — even on weekends. This regularity will help you fall (and stay) asleep each night.
2. Practice a bedtime ritual. Whether it’s reading, yoga, having a cup of tea or something else you enjoy, establishing a relaxing bedtime ritual helps your brain switch off from the chaos of the day. The only caveat — no screens. That includes phones and tablets, even on night mode. Your body will thank you for putting down the phone and picking up a book or other relaxing activity. You’ll fall asleep faster and have a deeper, sounder sleep as well!
3. Set your room up for sleep success. Evaluate your room to ensure it’s optimized for sleep. Keep it cool at night (between 60 and 68 degrees) and eliminate as much noise and light as possible. And try your best to reserve the bed for sleep. Not work, stressful conversations or anything else that’s likely to make you anxious.
4. Eat Breakfast. Lots of the healthy actions you hear about consistently feed off one another… People who eat breakfast within about 30 minutes of waking up get better sleep at night. They also typically have more energy and see an increase in their metabolism. Not used to eating breakfast? Work it into your schedule by preparing easy breakfasts ahead of time, keeping healthy, on-the-go options handy, or making breakfast when you get to work.
5. Examine your vitamin levels. Many vegetarians, diabetics, older people and users of hormonal birth control experience sleep issues simply because they’re lacking vitamin B12. Ask your doctor about this and other vitamins you may be deficient in and take steps to get the full dosage you need. An easy fix for getting more B12 in your life is to take a daily pill or, even more convenient — get a monthly B12 shot!
6. Exercise daily. By now you’re probably familiar with the benefits that exercise has to offer. So it’s no surprise that daily exercise — vigorous or not — can contribute to improved sleep. While early morning sweat sessions may help you sleep best, exercising anytime during the day can have significant results! Just try to exercise at least 2 hours before you plan to hit the hay.
7. Think happy thoughts. Counting sheep may bore you to sleep, but thinking about something you’re looking forward to the next day can help you relax and drift off naturally. This chill mindset contributes to better sleep and you’ll wake up rested and ready to embrace the day!
Implement these practices and you’ll be running on quality Z’s instead of caffeine in just a couple of weeks!
And if these, or any other sleep habits, worked for you, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!