Simple Ways to Get Better Sleep
Stress, mounting responsibilities, and poor habits mean that adults are getting less sleep than they should. According to a University of Pennsylvania study, about 25% of Americans experience insomnia every year, and a quarter of these cases progress to chronic insomnia.
Sleep deprivation can make you feel more tired and sad, but it can also irreversibly affect your work performance, brain function, and overall health. It can also increase the risk of developing obesity and heart disease in adults.
If you find yourself unable to fall asleep or wake up too early, you might have insomnia. During the day, you feel tired and find it difficult to focus on tasks. You might also feel more sad and irritable.
A few adjustments to your lifestyle can help you get the sleep you deserve. Here are a few ways to get a good night’s sleep:
Set a routine
You need to teach your body to stick to a sleep schedule. One way to do that is to set a routine and follow it religiously. You need to wake up and prepare for bed at the same time each day, even if you don’t have work the following day. Stick to a routine teaches your body to prepare for bed at night and wake up feeling reinvigorated.
Even if you get your full eight hours every night, you will not feel refreshed in the morning if the hours are inconsistent. And sleeping for a longer time to make up for lost sleep will only result in a disrupted schedule.
Only consume caffeine in the morning
Many people down a hot cup of joe in the afternoon for a much-needed mid-day boost. But consuming energy drinks or coffee so close to nighttime can affect your routine and make it harder for you to fall asleep.
It takes 12 hours to flush caffeine out of your body. If you drank a Starbucks at 3 PM, it would still be in your body by the time you prepare for bed. And you will feel less rested when you wake in the morning, forcing you to drink more coffee throughout the day to give you a boost. The result is a vicious cycle of caffeine reliance.
If you need something to give you a jolt, drink some water or eat a granola bar instead.
Don’t use alcohol as a sleeping aid
Many people drink a glass of wine before bed to help them fall asleep. But alcohol prevents you from entering REM sleep, which is the type of sleep that makes you feel rested in the morning. Without REM sleep, you will feel more confused and tired in the morning. And long-term REM sleep deprivation can lead to migraines, weight gain, and slower response.
These pointers will help you get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is as important as regular exercise and a balanced diet in keeping you physically and mentally healthy. If you continue to experience poor sleep, consult your primary care provider for further guidance.