Tips for Better Sleep
Getting adequate and regular sleep is essential to your wellbeing. Poor sleep can have negative effects on your cognitive function, hormone levels, emotional state and overall health. A 2016 CDC study indicated that more than a third of adults don’t get enough sleep.
During these uncertain times of the coronavirus pandemic, many people are sharing tales of fitful rest and disrupted sleep patterns. Unpredictability, insecurity and stress are often associated with poor sleep. It’s no wonder this has become such a pervasive problem these days.
If you’re among those suffering, you may wonder if you’ll ever get a full night’s slumber again. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to improve your sleep hygiene. These tips for better sleep could help you to reestablish your routine and get some much-needed rest.
Try to Implement a Schedule
The average adult should strive to get at least seven hours of sleep a day. Implementing a consistent routine will further establish your body’s sleep-wake schedule. It can be tempting to stay up later on weekends, but this only disrupts your natural rhythm. If self-isolation or social distancing measures have affected your usual schedule, make an attempt to develop a new one that works with your current situation.
Expose Yourself to Natural Light During the Day
This tip is often overlooked, but it can make a significant difference in your sleep quality. Adequate sunlight during the day helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock. It increases your daytime energy reserves and lets your body know when it’s time to sleep. Fresh air and some physical activity outdoors in the sunshine would also be beneficial toward enhancing sleep patterns.
Reduce Blue Light Exposure at Night
Blue light is emitted from electronic devices like televisions, computers and smartphones. It interferes with melatonin production and can also have a detrimental effect on your circadian rhythm. When you use your devices before sleep, your brain thinks it’s still daylight. There are ways you can reduce your blue light exposure. It can be helpful to simply turn off devices two hours before bed. You can also download blue light blocking apps or wear glasses that serve the same purpose.
Create a Calm Bedroom Space
Your bedroom should be calm and comfortable in order to encourage sleep. You’ll want to limit external noise from traffic or other household members. Also, remove unnecessary stimulants such as your TV and bright alarm clocks. Install blackout drapes to keep out any artificial street lights, as well. You want your brain to associate the bedroom with rest and relaxation only. Keep clutter and visual stimulation such as bright colors to a minimum. A soothing bedtime routine of listening to music, reading or drinking a cup of herbal tea might be helpful.
These tips should provide a good start toward improving your sleep routine and helping you to consistently get a good night’s rest. You may also want to avoid naps during the day and caffeine in the evening. Soon, you may begin to fall into a rhythm and notice an overall improvement in your mood and energy levels.