On the topic of health and wellness, diet and exercise always take the forefront of the conversation leaving out the key element of SLEEP! As many as 35% of the American adult population are suffering from insomnia according to SleepFoundation.org. Insomnia is defined as difficulty with sleep initiation, duration, or quality. There are many different internal and external factors that can impair your ability to achieve the adequate amount of sleep needed for the body to rest and recover efficiently. If you are having difficulty getting a good nights rest then keep reading for 10 helpful tips you can start today to improve your sleep quality and overall health.
1. Sleep Schedule
Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock, one of the most popular rhythms is our sleep and wake cycle. establishing a consistent schedule for when you will begin and end your day will allow you to fall asleep easier each night. * get up at the same time everyday ,no matter how much sleep you’ve gotten *
2. Stop Snoozing Your Alarm
Break the bad habit of snoozing your alarm clock. While you are adjusting to this new habit you may feel tired in the mornings. Incorporate activities like making your bed, taking a shower, going for a walk, or opening a window to help wake your body up.
Limit your napping to 30-minute intervals when needed. Also, be smart about your nap schedule, if you’re taking too long or too many rests during the day you might find it more difficult to get to sleep at night.
Don’t eat large meals at the end of the night, instead of a food-induced coma, you might find yourself struggling with the feeling of indigestion or acid reflux. Try light meals like fish, nuts, fruit, and decaffeinated teas approximately 2-3 hours before your bedtime.
Relate your bed with sleep
Only get into bed for sleep or sex. If you find yourself lying awake in bed for more than 20 minutes at night, get up and do a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy.
Find your optimal sleeping temperature. Everyones preference will be a little different. According to SleepFoundation.org sleep experts say that a cool room, around 65 degrees, makes for the best sleep, and research backs it.
In the mornings when you wake, open the windows and allow natural lighting in. waking up to natural light with help regulate your sleep wake cycle.
Turn off all lights in your home at night and use night lights or low lit lighting in the areas you may go, like the bathroom, to reduce stimulus to your eyes.
Invest in a quality mattress and pillow for your sleeping style. The correct mattress firmness will help keep your lumbar and thoracic spine in alignment while you sleep and having the proper pillow will help with maintaining your cervical spine alignment.
Block out the noise
Silence your environment before bed. Using earplugs can assist with eliminating sounds. If you are not comfortable with noise cancellation at night, try white noises instead. The steady frequency of white noise can mask surrounding sounds that stimuate your brain and night.
Unplug from your electronics and social media before bed. Hyperarousal is one of the leading reasons why individuals with insomnia cannot sleep at night. Try a relaxing activity 1 hour before bed to help your body wind down and prepare for sleep.