Sleep is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle, but it can often be one of the most elusive. If you struggle to fall asleep, you experience restless sleep, or you can’t get your recommended 7-8 hours a night, you’re not alone. Between 50-70 million Americans experience sleep related problems; 70% of adults in the U.S. report insufficient sleep at least once a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night. Getting good sleep is essential to all aspects of our health, which is why we’re sharing some of our tips for getting a better night’s sleep.
1. Evaluate the temperature and lighting of your bedroom.
The right atmosphere is essential to creating ideal sleeping conditions. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the optimal temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67°F. When we sleep in cooler conditions, we’re more likely to experience REM sleep – the sleep cycle responsible for dreaming, memory, and brain development. Keeping the room dark is also essential for the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for our sleep cycle. Close curtains and blinds to filter any light disruptions or sleep with an eye mask to block unwanted light.
2. Set a regular sleep routine.
Keeping a sleep schedule throughout the week can help the body get better quality rest. By going to bed and waking up the same time every day, we’re maintaining our body’s internal clock known as our circadian rhythm. Find a schedule that works for your lifestyle and allocate at least 7 hours nightly for rest. Consistency is key!
3. Get enough activity and fresh air during the day.
Believe it or not, getting a good night’s sleep starts during the daytime. Getting outdoors and exposing yourself to natural light will help maintain your circadian rhythm, keeping your body on a healthy sleep-wake cycle. It’s also important to include regular physical activity in your daily routine to prevent restlessness at night.
4. Keep work out of the bedroom.
You might already be aware of the importance of limiting technology usage before bedtime due to its disruption to the sleep-wake cycle. However, this is particularly important when it comes to work – even during the daytime. Avoid checking emails, answering phone calls, and managing work-related activities from your bedroom to promote a restful environment and limit stress.
5. Keep a clean, restful bedroom environment.
Following strong sleep hygiene habits is essential for a restful night’s sleep. Create a bedtime routine that helps you wind down and relax, incorporating practices such as meditation, listening to calming music, or reading a book. To ensure a healthy night’s sleep, keep a clean and tidy room, regularly change your bedsheets, and limit indoor air pollution as much as possible. You can learn more about the importance of indoor air quality here.
When it comes to creating a healthy sleep routine, the most important practice is to find what habits work best for your lifestyle. When you invest in a good night’s sleep, you’re investing in a healthier life.