Not Sleeping Well? Try these tips to improve your sleep health.
Work pressures, illnesses, raising young children, caring for aging relatives—almost all of life’s stresses can make it tough to get a good night’s sleep. While you can’t control the events that can lead to sleep disorders, you can make positive changes to improve your sleep health. If you are not sleeping well, try these six sleep tips:
1. Establish a bedtime routine
Go to bed and wake up the same time every day—even on weekends. The routine will reinforce your body’s sleep cycle and can make it easier to fall asleep at night.
2. Make your bedroom your sanctuary
Keepyour room cool, quiet, dark, and comfortable. Use blackout curtains or eye covers, wear earplugs, and choose whichever white noise maker—fan, humidifier, or a soothing sounds DVD—that makes you relax. Turn your alarm clock so you can’t see it and use your alarm only if needed. Dim your bedroom lighting.
3. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and large meals later in the evening
You may think a glass of wine makes you sleepy, but alcohol actually disrupts your sleep. So does nicotine. Avoid caffeine for at least eight hours before bed. Eat a light dinner at least two hours before bedtime and stay away from fatty and spicy foods.
4. Relax before bedtime
Create soothing routines that tell your body it’s time for bed.These activities can include anything from taking a warm bath or shower to reading or listening to music before bed.
Regular aerobic activity can improve your sleep health. However, don’t work out within four hours before bedtime as exercising before bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
6. Go to bed only when you are tired
Turn out the lights. If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Stressing out about sleep will only make falling asleep more difficult.