If you find yourself tossing and turning at night or yawning all day at work, you may not be practicing good sleep hygiene. Sleep problems can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Protect your health and rest easier each night by following these tips for a better night of sleep:
- Create an environment to promote sleep. You sleep better in a cool, dark and quiet room. Use a fan or white noise machine to help drown out other distracting noises. You can also try blackout curtains to keep out street light.
- Follow a ritual. Go through the same tasks at the same time each night (even on weekends) to help your body get into the habit of falling asleep. For instance, at 10 pm, brush your teeth, wash your face and get into pajamas. Then read for about 15 minutes. Consistently following the same activities can help you wind down after your day.
- Ban screens from the bedroom. Televisions, tablets, cellphones and computers all encourage activity in your brain, which may make it harder to fall asleep. Keep these devices out of the bedroom and stop using them about an hour before bedtime.
- Get active to get rested. Exercise is not only good for your heart and muscles, but it also helps when it comes to sleeping well. Do not exercise right before sleep, but at any other time in the day can help promote better sleep at night. Exercising in the afternoon and evening in particular has been linked to better sleep.
- Stop eating and drinking a few hours before sleep. Certain chemicals in foods and drinks such as caffeine and alcohol can harm the quality of your sleep. Avoid eating and drinking altogether around three hours before you go to bed to ensure the best quality sleep.
Learn more information about Sleep hygiene and behaviors you can practice to encourage healthy, restful sleep.