According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35% of American adults are not getting the recommended 7 hours a sleep each night. In order for you to start getting your best sleep possible we have come up with a list of ways to improve your bedroom environment to change your sleep schedule for the better.
- Avoid Screen Time Before Bedtime
For a lot of us, the last thing we do before going to bed is look at our phones. We've got to stop! Our phones, TVs, and computers emit a blue light that is disruptive - making it bad for your eyesight as well as bad for your brain. Looking at your phone before bed can mess with your melatonin levels, which is the hormone responsible for controlling your sleep cycle. In fact, you should always make sure your room is nice and dimly lit with warm light as you are getting ready to go to bed.
- Sync with Your Body’s Natural Sleep-Wake Cycle
Your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle is also known as your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm works best when you have regular sleep habits and it influences if we feel more or less alert at certain points in our day. For example, an adult’s energy often dips right after lunch because we are eager for a post lunch nap, and again during the middle of the night when you are fast asleep. It is important that you don’t sleep more than 2 extra hours over the weekends and try and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to stay on a consistent schedule.
- Use Your Room Just for Sleeping
It is important that you use your bed just to sleep. You shouldn’t sit in your bed and watch TV or do work. Your brain will associate your bedroom and your bed just with sleeping, and it will make it easier for you to fall asleep at night.
- Make Your Space Cozy and Comfortable
It is smart to make your bedroom relaxing and comfortable so that you look forward to going to sleep which can improve your quality of sleep. Your room should be dark, cool, and quiet. The temperature of your room is important as a bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interrupt your sleep. Sometimes make small changes in your bedroom environment can improve the nature of your sleep.
- Be Aware of Your Eating and Drinking Habits Before Bed
You must try and avoid big meals right before bed, and ideally you should not have any rich foods two hours before bed. You must especially avoid eating refined, sugary food as it could affect your sleeping in the middle of the night. Refined sugars can trigger wakefulness in the middle of the night, so in order to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep it is important to avoid them. You should also try to limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption before bed.
- Exercise and Reduce Stress
Exercising regularly for at least 20-30 minutes every day will help you get a better night’s sleep. It allows you to feel more alert during the day and will help you get to sleep faster. Exercising during the day can also increase the amount of time you spend in a deep sleep. If you often get stressed at night, exercise can certainly help to settle your mind. If exercise isn't an option, making mental to-do lists or writing in a diary can be a good habit to help manage your ideas and tasks, and ultimately reduce stress.
- Employ Some Relaxation Techniques
If you are having trouble falling asleep or if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t seem to fall back asleep, trying employing some of these relaxation techniques:
- Try some deep breathing
- Visualize – count sheep or imagine a peaceful place
- Listen to soft, calming music
- Take a warm bath before bed
- Do some gentle yoga or stretching before bed
We hope that you can use one or many of these techniques to have a better, more tranquil sleep. It is important to get the right amount of sleep every night because it will improve your overall health, as well as get you ready to take on the day with energy and enthusiasm!