Stress and anxiety can cause disruption in sleep making it more important than ever to practice good sleep hygiene. When it comes to your health, sleep is as important as staying active and eating healthy. Get more shuteye with these nine tips.
- Increase bright light exposure during the day. Studies show that bright light during the day can keep your circadian rhythm, also known as your natural time-keeping clock, healthy. This increases your daytime energy and sleep quality.
- Put down the phone. At least an hour before bed, put your electronic devices away. The blue light devices emit can hamper sleep. Limiting media before bed can be helpful to calm your mind. Instead, pick up a good book and let go of reality for a bit.
- Watch your caffeine intake. Caffeine can stay in your body for up to 12 hours after ingested. Avoid caffeine during the afternoon and reduce how much you consume daily.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is linked to better sleep. However, be careful of when you exercise, because too much activity too late in the day can make it harder to fall asleep for some people.
- Avoid alcohol and heavy meals. Alcohol and heavy, big or spicy meals can disrupt sleep by causing indigestion. Aim to eat two to three hours before bed to allow time for your stomach to digest.
- Make a bedtime routine. A consistent, calming nighttime routine lets your body know that it’s time to for bed, which can encourage better sleep. Even if you are staying home and have a more relaxed schedule, avoid staying up later than normal. Stick to your normal sleep schedule.
- Designate the bedroom for sleep. It may be tempting to eat or work from the comfort of your bed but designating your bedroom as a sleep-only zone will help your body recognize the purpose of the room.
- Create an optimal environment for sleep. If possible, keep your bedroom dark and quiet. This tells your brain it’s time to sleep. Turning the temperature down to between 60 and 68 degrees also can increase sleep quality.
- Invest in a good mattress and pillow. Find a comfortable pillow and mattress. Make your decision based on personal preference and sleeping position.
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