8 Tips for Improving Sleep
One of the best ways to improve our overall health and wellbeing is to get enough quality sleep. Quality sleep is essential for sustaining energy, maintaining a strong immune system, adequate cognitive functioning, and necessary physical strength. Good sleep can even reduce the risk of illness. While we are sleeping, our bodies repair tissues, hormone levels are regulated, and new pathways in our brains are formed.
In turn, poor sleep can lead to high blood pressure, an increased risk for heart disease and obesity, increased levels of stress hormone, and a weakened immune system.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that adults get 7 or more hours of sleep each night. It’s important to consider getting both enough sleep and good quality sleep.
Here are 8 tips to improve quality and quantity of sleep.
1. Try to go to bed at roughly the same time every night and aim to wake up around the same time each morning. This allows you to create a routine and begin to ensure you are getting enough hours of sleep.
2. Limiting your screen time and blue light exposure can help improve quality of sleep. Aim to put down all electronics 30 minutes to an hour before going to sleep. Additionally, removing televisions and computers from bedrooms can benefit sleep.
3. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake and stay away from larger meals close to bed time.
4. Use light to balance circadian rhythms. Start your day with natural light exposure and darken your bedroom as much as possible.
5. Engage in some form of physical activity and joyful movement each day.
6. Play peaceful sounds, like ocean waves or rain, or consider a white noise machine or a fan to drown out any other distracting sounds.
7. Try a guided meditation or mindfulness exercise before bed. My favorite bedtime meditation is progressive muscle relaxation.
8. Your bedroom, especially your bed, should be reserved for sleep and sex only. Avoid reading or doing work in your bedroom.
Try these tips for yourself. If you continue to struggle with sleep, consider seeking further support from your doctor or a trained therapist.