More than 50 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder, which makes getting proper rest harder. On top of that, there are even more of us who struggle to get enough shut-eye without a diagnosed problem.
Sleep is a vital part of our overall health. During the night is our body’s time to recover and get us ready for the next day. Without enough rest, you could be at more risk of depression, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, lower immune system, and more.
If you’re one of the many who suffers from inadequate sleep, we’ve got six great tips for you to start trying right away.
Invest in a New Mattress
One of the main problems you could be having is that you’re uncomfortable while trying to get to sleep. An old mattress can cause chronic pain, a stiff neck, and back problems. If you feel like you’re tossing and turning all night, this could be your issue.
Whether you’re a hot sleeper, side sleeper, or combination sleeper, you should look at the best mattress brands by health.com to see what would suit you. .
Limit Your Screen Time
Your smartphones, computer screen, and television all put off blue light, which will disturb your circadian rhythm. This is your natural clock that your brain uses, so it knows when to be awake and when to rest. Our ancestors used this with the help of natural sunlight.
However, the bright screens trick our brains into thinking it’s still daytime, so you don’t feel tired. If this sounds like you, you need to limit your screen time two hours before you plan to go to bed. Instead, you can read a book, meditate, or listen to relaxing music.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
Many of us believe that a nightcap will help us sleep better, but the opposite is true. Although alcohol can indeed make it easier to fall asleep, the quality of the rest is worse.
Alcohol makes it hard for people to get into REM sleep. Rapid eye movement is the deepest sleep and is where more of the healing takes place. If you want to enjoy a beverage at night, you should try non-caffeinated tea or warm milk.
Have a Routine
Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day will help reinforce your circadian rhythm. Once it gets to that time every night, your body will know to start producing the sleep hormone.
The time is essential, but how you prepare for sleep also plays a role. Before you get into bed, have the same nightly routine. This could be showering, washing your fash, brushing your teeth, meditating, reading, or relaxing with your loved one.
If you follow the same procedure daily, your brain starts to associate these actions with sleep. You’ll want to do this on the weekends as well. Although it’s great to sleep in or stay up all night partying, it will destroy your sleeping cycle.
Limit Afternoon Caffeine Drinks
Coffee, tea, or other caffeinated drinks are perfect for getting us going in the morning. However, too late in the afternoon, you’ll be awake way past your bedtime. You’ll feel restless and tired the next day.
Caffeine stays in your system for 5 to 8 hours. You should have your last “pick me up” beverage at 2 pm and no later. This will ensure that around 10 pm or your desired bedtime that all the caffeine has left your bloodstream.
You’ve heard all the great things about exercise for your health, but did you know that it can help you get to sleep as well? If you work in a stationary job, you might have a lot of excess energy that you need to release in order to rest.
Going to the gym, doing a workout, or even just walking your dog around the block can use that extra energy. Then when it’s time to sleep, you’ll feel naturally more tired and drop off quicker.
The Bottom Line
Sleep is a key factor in our overall health. You should make it a priority to get sufficient rest every night to be able to perform at your best the next day.
If you struggle with a sleep disorder or have been restless lately, use our tips to help. You can invest in a new mattress, limit screen time, refrain from alcohol, create a routine, limit afternoon caffeine, and exercise regularly. Once you adopt these habits, you’ll sleep well every night.