A good night's sleep is found to minimize the risk of major health issues, and at the same time, helps your body lose weight. Yet, so many Americans don't get the rest needed to live healthy lives. Here's what you can do to ensure that you get a good night's sleep:
- Get physical during the day
Being physically active during the day promotes better night's sleep. It can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep. Try to time your exercise so that it doesn't fall right before bedtime, otherwise you may feel too energized to fall asleep right away. Try to time your exercise to finish 3-4 hours prior to your bedtime (excluding calming mind/body exercises like yoga or tai chi).
- Make a Routine
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, regardless of weekends or holidays helps your body naturally fall into a routine sleep-wake cycle. Creating a bedtime ritual each night helps your mind and body unwind and signals when it's time to fall asleep. Perhaps read a relaxing piece of literature, do soothing self-care activities like a bath or shower, or listen to soft music.
- Create a Soothing Environment
Make your bedroom a soothing place to unwind and drift off to sleep. Keep it cool, dark and quiet. Reduce clutter, and think about what mattress, pillow, and sheets make you feel most comfortable.
- Manage Stress
When you have things weighing on your mind, it can make it difficult to fall asleep. Try jotting down what's on your mind and making a conscious decision to think peaceful, happy thoughts as you drift off to sleep.
- Limit Daytime Naps
Limiting naps to 10-30 minutes in length, and keeping them in the midafternoon will help you arrive at your normal bedtime ready to sleep.
- Ban the Electronic Lights
This includes the clock! Those little lights from your cell phone, computer, and digital alarm clock interfere with your body's ability to rest, so turn off what electronics you can, or cover up the power lights. Clock watchers should turn it away from them, or hide it in a drawer.