Here are a few simple, drug-free tips for improving your sleep.
We all know that a good night’s sleep is essential to maintaining physical and mental health and wellbeing, but how many of us are getting the right amount of quality sleep?
According to the CDC, the average adult needs seven hours of quality sleep per night. The start of a new year is a great time to assess the quality of your sleep and adjust any bad habits that may be impacting your slumber.
Here are a few recommendations on how to improve the quality of your sleep:
- Try to stick to a regular bed/wake time schedule to help your body learn to relax on cue.
- Tire yourself out by exercising more.
- Rethink your caffeine and alcohol consumption as both can upset your sleep patterns and wreak havoc with the quality of your sleep.
- Watch what you eat—rich or spicy foods take longer to digest which can make it harder to fall asleep.
- Turn off all screens an hour before bed. Artificial blue light (such as that produced by phones and computers) at night suppresses melatonin—the hormone you need to feel sleepy and increases cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.” Another means of counteracting this effect is Red Light Therapy, available in our R&R room.
- Give some thought to what you’re sleeping on—if your mattress is more than seven years old, consider replacing it with a new one.
- Experiment with new ways to relax—try taking a warm scented bath, listen to quiet soothing music or embrace the power of mindfulness or yoga exercises.
- Stop pressing that snooze button! That extra couple minutes of shut eye may be tempting but will not be quality sleep.
Remember that smalls steps put us on the path to better habits. Try implementing one or two of these tips in the next week and see how they work for you! Sweet dreams.