Sleep is a critical, yet oftentimes neglected, factor of our overall well-being in our modern society, and we are feeling the negative effects. Sleep is our body’s reset process, it literally allows our brain to cleanse itself, store memories, and ready itself for the following day. Your sleep hygiene is important to enable your body to repair and reset itself and it affects everything from your immune system and appetite to your risk for heart disease and diabetes. This, not to mention the brain fog and lack of energy you feel after a few days with a less than adequate night’s rest.
Sleep is perhaps one of the easiest and most enjoyable things you can do to better your brain and your metabolism all at once, so make sure you are doing everything you can to get a good night’s rest each night.The average adult should aim for 7-9 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep per night.
Here are a few simple tips to help ensure you are getting enough sleep for your health and goals.
Tips for Quality Sleep
Follow a Sleep Schedule
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep by creating a sleep schedule – trying to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This will help train your body to know that it’s time to rest, so you can get to sleep easier.
Create an Ideal Sleep Environment
The details of your ideal sleep environment might differ slightly from others, but in general you’ll want to keep your bedroom cool, comfortable, quiet and dark.
Limit Caffeine after 2 p.m
If you are easily affected by caffeine or other stimulants (soda, tea, chocolate, etc), you should limit your caffeine consumption after 2 pm (or earlier if you have trouble falling asleep).
Limit your use of electronic devices for one hour before bedtime
The blue light emitted from our cell phones and tablets literally sends signals to our brains that it is still daytime, making it harder for us to shut off when it is time for sleep.
Allow yourself 30 to 60 minutes to relax before bed
Give yourself a solid 30 to 60 minutes before bed to relax and unwind. Think about writing in a journal, taking down some notes for your next day’s to-do list, taking a warm bath, listening to music, or anything that will help you quiet your mind and thoughts when it’s time to close your eyes.
Exercise in the morning or afternoon instead at night
Exercising before bedtime while your body is trying to prepare itself for rest and relaxation mode can throw off your circadian rhythms and make it more difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Try getting in your workout in the morning or afternoon to reap the benefits for your sleep cycles.
Proper sleep is essential for our body to be functioning at its absolute best, and it takes only a few days of poor-quality sleep to feel the negative effects. For your best sleep, try following some of the above tips to get a better night’s sleep, tonight!