6 Tips to Sleep Better

The art of sleeping has been lost due to the busy lifestyle our current culture encourages. I do not know about you, but I find my sleeping schedule is pretty inconsistent. On work days, I sleep around 10 PM and wake up at 6 AM while on weekends or days I work late the next morning, I sleep around 12 AM - 1 AM and wake up around 9 AM. Even though I am pretty good about getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, I can not help but find myself tired and in the need of coffee or a long afternoon nap. There is more to just sleeping the right amount of time but you must also sleep smart. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, there are simple changes you can make to improve your quality of sleep. Follow these 6 simple tips to help improve the quality of your sleep.

1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

You want to try and keep your sleep schedule consistent so you do not mess with your body’s wake and sleep clock. Do your best to sleep within an hour of your usual bedtime and wake schedule.

2. Quiet time an hour before bed.

Give your body some time to wind down. Create an hour of space where you are away from your computer, phone, and television. The light can disturb your natural sleep hormones and trigger your brain to think it is time to be awake.

3. Avoid nicotine and caffeine.

Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants which increase your heart rate, blood flow, and cognitive activity. It is best to avoid intake of either substance prior to bed. The best time to have your last cup of coffee would be 10 hours before the time you plan to go to bed since caffeine stays in your body up to 10 hours.

4. Avoid Alcohol.

There is a common myth that drinking a “night cap” before going to bed will help you sleep well. This is not true. Drinking alcohol before going to bed disturbs the quality of sleep making it difficult to stay asleep or to sleep well.

5. Keep your bedroom dark.

Melatonin is a hormone that triggers sleep in the body. The production of this hormone depends on darkness and increases in the evening as the sun sets. Sleeping with the light on in your room or browsing on your phone or computer before bed can interrupt the natural production of melatonin in your body resulting in a disrupted sleep pattern.

6. Avoid taking naps longer than 20 minutes.

Power naps are great but long naps in the afternoon will disrupt your natural sleeping pattern. Try not to take naps later than the early afternoon.

 

To learn more about different strategies to improve your quality of sleep, you can read this article on, “Strategies for Getting Enough Sleep,” by the National Heart and, Lung, and Blood Institute by clicking here

Comment below and let me know how these tips helped! I am going to implement this into my life and let you know how it helps with my sleep. 

Photo Credit: Juliann Cheryl