Do you want to know how to sleep better? The Better Sleep Council has come up with some solutions. Americans are in the midst of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called a national sleep epidemic, and society is feeling the impact. In fact, nearly 8 in 10 Americans admit they would feel better and more prepared for the day if they had an extra hour of sleep.
Solutions to this Sleep Epidemic
Luckily, solutions are not out of reach. The sleep tips below are the Better Sleep Council’s trusted solutions to help avoid the damaging effects of sleep deprivation and general grogginess after a poor night’s sleep. In short, these tips on how to sleep better can make Monday mornings – and every other morning – a lot easier to handle.
- Make sleep a priority. Keep a consistent sleep and wake schedule – even on the weekends. If necessary, try adding sleep to your to-do list. And don’t be late. I set my phone to tell me when it is time to take my night time supplements about an hour before bedtime. Then, I set the alarm for my bedtime and stick to it. (Even if I’m in the middle of a chapter.)
- Maintain a relaxing sleep routine. Create a bedtime routine that relaxes you. Experts recommend reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a hot bath.
- Create a sleep sanctuary. Your bedroom should be a haven of comfort. Create a room that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool for the best sleep possible. Consider a bedroom makeover.
Sounds Great – though not always easy to make happen. I’ve found a DVR helps me turn off the TV
- Evaluate your sleep system. Your mattress and pillow should provide full comfort and support. Your bed and your body will naturally change over time, so if your mattress is seven years old (or older), it may be time for a new one. Pillows should generally be replaced every year.
- Keep work materials out. The bedroom should be used for sleep and sex only. Keep stressors, such as work, outside the bedroom.
- Banish technology. Television, smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers should be kept out of the bedroom. Intense backlighting of electronics triggers stimulating chemicals in the brain that tell your body it’s time to be awake. Again, with our Social Media “Needs” this is often hard to make happen, and even when we do, there are the ongoing issues we are dealing with. Relationships aren’t as easy to turn off as they might want us to believe.
Realizing This is Difficult – Right?
- Exercise early. Complete your workouts at least two hours before bedtime to ensure quality sleep. Even a brisk walk can increase blood flow and improve your sleep. Sounds great, and while it may help, it is not always a practical method with our stressful lives and time availability.
- Assess your space. Did you know that for couples who sleep on a “double”, each person only has as much sleeping space as a baby’s crib? Whether you sleep with a partner or alone, your mattress should allow enough space for you to be able to move freely and easily. I think the suggestion is a King, or if one partner is tall, a California King.
- Replace caffeine with water after lunch. Caffeine can remain in your system longer than you might realize. Stay hydrated with water instead of having coffee, tea or soda in the afternoon. You might try decaffeinated if you don’t want water. However, I have heard that drinking really cold water will help a person’s metabolism increase, if you want to also lose weight.
More How to Sleep Better Suggestions
- Drink alcohol earlier in the day. If you need to indulge, a glass of wine soon after work can calm your nerves and help worries melt away, while still giving your body ample time to digest the alcohol before bed. Prime Wine is easier on the body than cheap wine. (Just a hint)
- Take 20- to 30-minute naps. Short naps can be restorative without disrupting your sleeping. Experts say even a 10-minute nap can improve alertness for 2.5 hours when you’re sleep deprived and for up to 4 hours when you are well rested. Instead of a coffee break, take a “eyelid maintenance” break, and set your phone to remind you when to stop. Your work and feelings of calm will improve your life.
- Eat light in the evening. Finish eating at least two to three hours before bedtime. A good snack just before bed is Kefir. It will help you digest your food more easily during the night and helps us keep from late night snacks that land on our waist.
- Keep a worry journal. Distance yourself from things that cause stress and anxiety. Writing down the things that are bothering you can give you perspective and help you relax. Just don’t keep your journal in your bedroom. I’ve also used a gratitude journal along with that to contemplate as I relax. It seems to give me a better attitude when I wake in the morning because I haven’t worried all night.
- Set a snooze button quota. Only hit the snooze button once per day. And set it for the latest setting possible in order to still wake up on time. You will feel more refreshed if your sleep isn’t disrupted multiple times.
- Buy an alarm clock. And keep your phone in the other room. Smartphones in particular can represent a source of stress during the day, and proximity to the bed can disrupt sleep – even if it doesn’t make noise or is set to vibrate.
and things I have learned in my life to live with constance stress and still be in good shape.