Are you having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up ready to conquer the day? Your sleep hygiene habits may need some adjustment to allow for high-quality sleep to fully do its job. Try these sleep tips from healthy lifestyle and fitness expert, Ellen G. Goldman from The Huffington Post:
1. Get the right amout of sleep every night: While each person is different, it is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night for optimal physical, mental and emotional health. Lower to risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight gain, and car accidents as you boost your memory and immune system by consistently tucking in.
2. Set the mood in your bedroom: Map out 15 minutes each day to remove clutter from your bedroom to make it more appealing to relax in.
3. Make your bed in the morning: A well-kept bed is much more likely to encourage you to get underneath the covers at a decent hour at night.
4. Reserve your bed for sleep and intimacy only: You want to be able to associate your bed with relaxation and rest only. Don’t use your bed as an office or theatre.
5. Stick to calming nighttime routine: Your relaxing ritual should involve putting away all of your electronics at least an hour before bed, replacing your typical TV time with reading a magazine or novel, taking a warm bath, stretching or enjoying a cup of Sleepytime tea.
6. Keep it cool at night: 65-67 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for most individuals to get a great night of sleep.
7. Say no to caffeine late in the afternoon and evening: Coffee, soda, chocolate and sugary snacks can remain in your system longer than you’d like and keep you awake at bedtime.
8. Avoid late night workouts: While exercising at anytime can boost your sleep, avoid high intensity workouts at night to keep from staying up too late.
9. Avoid spicy foods and alcohol in the evenings: Prevent heartburn and indigestion by eating smart at dinner time. Alcohol may also be tempting but, it’s the perfect way to experience fragmented sleep.
10. If you do end up drinking alcohol, drink plenty of water and keep some nearby at night: To prevent being dehydrated and having to get up in the middle of the night with dry mouth, remember your H2O.
11. Create a “to-do list” to stay a step ahead: By preparing for the next day, your mind will be more at ease to fall asleep.
12. Keep a notepad and pen next to your bed: If you have any thoughts preventing you from sleep, write them down and release the worry from your mind.
13. Get up after 20 minutes of lying in bed awake: Go into another room for relaxing activities that rely on your brain in the dark or with dim lighting such as meditation, visualization or reading non-stimulating material. Avoid TV and looking at the clock.
14. Eliminate or keeping you naps to a maximum of 30 minutes: Limit your nap time to prevent grogginess upon waking up and keep you from feeling sleepy when it is your bedtime later.
15. Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday: Staying consistent will help sync your circadian rhythm to keep you waking up ready to start your day. Don’t try to make up for lost sleep on the weekends, just stay the course.
Goldman recommends focusing on implementing one tip each week for the entire week to build up a great sleep hygiene routine. If you still can’t sleep speak to a licensed physician as soon as possible. How Goldman’s sleep tips work for you?