It’s no secret that one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well being is to make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Experts recommend adults between the ages 26 and 64 should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. But unfortunately, it seems like the majority of adults aren’t getting even close to the recommended amount of shut-eye. More than half of American adults claim that they only get about 5 or 6 hours of rest a night; that includes tossing, turning, and trips to the bathroom.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep, there’s no doubt you feel the effects. Sleep deprivation leaves you feeling cranky, reduces your energy levels, makes you less alert, and can make it hard to concentrate. Not getting enough sleep for a prolonged period of time can also increase the risk of several health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It can also contribute to the development of anxiety and depression.
In other words, of all the things you can do for your health and well-being, making sure you are getting enough sleep is paramount.
But how can you ensure you are getting the optimal amount of sleep? Here are some tips that will help to maximize the amount of time you spend in dreamland.
Establish a Schedule
A routine is important for most things you do on a daily basis, including sleep. Having a sleep routine can regulate your internal clock and make it easier to fall asleep – and stay asleep.
Develop a bedtime ritual, if you will. Things to incorporate into your ritual might include washing your face, brushing your teeth, getting changed, letting out your pets, and so on. Start your routine at the same time each night, and go through each step in the same order. You will find drifting off will be a lot easier.
Get a Sleep Mask
If you are easily distracted by light, you may want to try a sleeping eye mask. A high-quality eye mask will prevent any light from infiltrating your eyes, including the dim light of an alarm clock or the bright blare of car lights driving past your window.
Darkness invites sleep, so when your environment is completely dark, it will be a lot easier for the Sandman to pay you a visit.
Drop the Temperature
There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. And falling back to sleep after waking up hot and sweaty can be tough.
When you’re sleeping, your body temperature naturally rises. To avoid feeling stuffy and like you are suffocating, drop the temperature in your bedroom. It might take some time to determine the right sleeping temperature for you, so try out different settings until you find the perfect one.
Technology is everywhere, and it can be hard to turn it off – especially when you are relaxing after a long, hard day. But staring at a screen can lead to overstimulation, which can make falling asleep super difficult.
To avoid insomnia, power down your devices about an hour before you plan on retiring; including the TV, your computer, your smartphone, and your tablet. Instead, read a few chapters of a book, take a warm bath filled with essential oils, or listen to soothing music. You will find that it will be a lot easier to fall asleep when you cut back on technology use well in advance of your scheduled bedtime.